Last week, we detailed the pros and cons of Groupon, a newcomer to the social media scene that is capitalizing on the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter to share local deals. Groupon has to be bought in to, and does not offer any free discounts, which guarantees that local businesses are going to gain a profit. However, the site has been a target of controversy, and Groupon also lacks a built-in social element, something that Signpost handles much better.
Signpost is very much a virtual version of a community posting board. Users sign up, and provide what city they live in, and are immediately given a list of nearby offers, discounts, and coupons. There is no membership fee, and most of the offers are standard 10% or 15% off coupons. What really makes Signpost stand out is the fact that the community is completely socially-driven. Offers and deals are found online, or wherever, by users who simply post them to the site with instructions on how to find and redeem the coupon. Businesses do not need to actively participate in the community (though some surely do).
Users’ activity is tracked through a ‘karma’ system, where an individual’s karma score is based on how many offers they contribute to the community. Occasionally, Signpost offers exclusive members-only coupons, which can be redeemed by cashing in karma points. This encourages users to hunt down deals wherever they can, in pursuit of the biggest rewards when the next exclusive offer comes along.
These are just two of a quickly growing subset of social media. As local, city-centric social sites continue to pop up, hubs like Signpost, Groupon, and LivingSocial will only become more popular. Will these tools ever reach the level of Facebook and LinkedIn? Likely not, but going local has never been easier.
Founded in 1989, WebbMason is one of the fastest-growing print and brand management service companies in the United States, helping marketing departments and their internal and external partners save money and streamline processes through a winning combination of industry expertise, exceptional print supply chain partners and technological innovation. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, WebbMason has 20 sales offices throughout the United States.