Twitter treasure hunt promotes local shopping

Peninsula shop owners are conducting a Twitter treasure hunt to attract new customers.

Starting this month, they began tweeting a series of clues to Twitter followers, in hopes that users of the social media would beat a trail to local stores. 

The Twitter Hunt is sponsored by Peninsula Shops, a Redwood City-based Web site created to support and raise the visibility of local businesses. In addition to a Twitter page, the organization also has a presence on another social media site, Facebook.

The messages — limited by Twitter to 140 characters — are a challenge themselves to decipher.

“Terry Conroy owns? Hint member directory advance search. 1st to correctly post merchant name on our FB wall wins $100 gift cert” was one of the messages — known as “tweets” — that appeared last week.

The right answer — Richard’s Fine Mens Clothier of Palo Alto — was posted on Peninsula Shops Facebook in a matter of minutes, making Kelley Hayden the winner of a $100 gift certificate. 

Jason Sutherland, founder of Peninsula Shops, said the clues will be sent to followers — who can read them online or on their mobile device — each day in the month of November.

“It’s a unique, inexpensive way to expose businesses online without having to micromanage,” Sutherland said. “Social media is exploding. This is a way for local merchants to expand their presence on social base.”

There is a new prize daily, Sutherland said. And at one point during the month — Sutherland would not disclose when it will happen — a participant will win $100 cash.

Brent Harrison, co-owner of Savvy Cellars Wine in Redwood City, which is a member of Peninsula Shops, said if online marketing through social media creates more customers coming into the store, using Peninsula Shops is a wise investment.

“If what they have to say online translates to foot traffic it’s a good thing to be a part of,” he said.

As of the first week of the hunt, there were more than 500 potential Peninsula shoppers participating in the hunt through Twitter and ­Facebook.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

 

How to play

Join up at www.twitter.com/peninsulashops

  • Hunt is on daily through
  • Nov. 30.
  • Through Twitter, Peninsula Shops will send clues and store locations.
  • Included in the clues will be hints as to where a $100 cash grand prize can be found.
  • In order to claim the grand prize, participants must either be a “fan” of Peninsula Shops on Facebook or a Twitter follower — and sign up as a consumer or business member on the Peninsula Shops Web site, www.peninsulashops.com.
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