Boost customer engagement with this cost-effective strategy.

Sponsored by UPshow.

It’s a new-age dilemma—businesses are spending more money putting televisions in at their locations to create a better in-house experience, but customers are spending more time looking at their phones. According to a new study in TechCrunch, consumers spend as much as 3.6 hours a day on social media and less time—a paltry three hours—watching television.

To keep up, businesses need to find new ways to reach customers inside their establishments, while providing a social engagement entertainment platform that meets customers’ expectations of their in-house experience, and saving money. Some new services are filling that gap by providing a platform that streams customized content to a business’s customers while engaging them on social media and marketing directly to them.

UPshow, for example, offers a social TV platform that is a one-stop marketing and entertainment solution that allows businesses to customize the marketing content their customers see, showcase user-generated content, and provide customers with a steady stream of hyperlocal entertainment feeds. Currently, the company has more than 7,000 screens in businesses across the country, including national brands, such as TGI Fridays, Hooters, Buffalo Wild Wings, ATI Physical Therapy, Crunch Fitness, and Navy Pier, among others.

“Today, most people’s de facto news and entertainment source is social media,” says Adam Hirsen, CEO and co-founder of UPshow. “Traditional TVs are static—they don’t encourage interaction and are not personalized for a venue’s particular audience or location. CNN is the same in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston. UPshow is unique to every location—something cable and status quo digital signage can’t deliver.”

In essence, UPshow provides businesses a completely customizable customer experience. By featuring on TV the most relevant social media feeds for topics the business chooses, the platform is able to cater to the local area. Additionally, the platform drives more customer generated social media content by giving customers the opportunity for their 15 seconds of fame on TVs within the venue.

“There’s a constant call to action on UPshow screens for customers to post on Instagram or Twitter from within the venue,” says Matt Gibbs, UPshow’s CMO. “We call it the Jumbotron effect. People will post a group or food pic using the restaurant’s hashtag, skeptical as to whether or not it will show up on screen. When it does, there’s a joyous commotion as the customers see themselves on TV, which instantly compels other customers to post their own content. As more and more customers engage in this simple interaction, the business continues to get a seemingly endless supply of free word-of-mouth marketing.

The platform also adds into the mix whatever marketing and branding the organization wants. From drink specials, to coming events and health tips, the service streams brand-centric marketing content directly to the customer.

“We’re able to show that if our clients use the digital signage feature of UPshow, they can increase their sales on specific products by more than 5 percent,” Gibbs says. “We’ve seen that in some restaurants and bars, when they promote a certain brand of beer, sales for that beer go up as much as 9 percent.”

Gibbs says the system is programmable on the fly using an app which gives the business owner the flexibility to switch topics at their leisure. Additionally, the system starts out at $25 a month, far less than a traditional provider, like Comcast—whose prices have risen more than 240 percent in the past three years—providing more than enough reason to “cut the cord.”

“This technology should be on every screen in every business across the country,” Gibbs says. “Cable won’t give you control of the content and engage your customers, but UPshow will, in a hyperlocal way, for less.”

By Liz Carey

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