Social media applications have proliferated over the past few years. There are literally hundreds of ways to stay connected and share information online from the “mega applications” like Facebook and Twitter to the smaller, more localized apps. You can use social media to post photos, to share information, to check in at locations, to share nearly any sort of information you desire with almost anyone in the world.
Another popular use for the web, however, is to create and brand loyalty programs. By purchasing at specific locations or with specific types of payment, companies can reward you by offering points. At a certain level, you can then redeem points for special perks, merchandise, discounts, or any number of other things.
Enter BCKSTGR, a powerful blend of social media and loyalty program which rewards consumers for what they are already doing - engaging on social media.
BCKSTGR is the brainchild of Justin Jarvinen, a Naperville entrepreneur who has created this new platform so that companies can track how their brand is mentioned online by consumers and allow those consumers to earn entertainment options as rewards. The first business to use the platform is United Airlines, which will allow its MileagePlus members a chance to earn exclusive experiences and other rewards as their posts about that company are tracked on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google and LinkedIn. One of the great bonuses is that you don't have to be a pre-existing member of MileagePlus. You can create your MileagePlus account directly from the BCKSTGR application and start earning miles just for signing up. The plan is to add more such partners in the future as the application grows.
I recently had a chance to ask Justin a few questions about BCKSTGR.
How did the idea for BCKSTGR come about? When I was attending a charity event and witnessed the excitement over a Jonas Brothers auction, I thought to myself, "What if I could bring that excitement to everyday people—to consumers who might not be able to jump in on a $100,000 auction but who could create value for brands (who have budgets).” That's how I began the process of designing a virtual currency platform.
Once you had the concept, what were the struggles you encountered in the creation? We've had a few hiccups along the way. Every startup does. You just need to get through them and grow from your experiences. One thing I've learned over time is to always trust yourself and your vision.
What sets BCKSTGR apart from other social media-based companies? BCKSTGR is built on an innovative system that offers individuals reward points from their social media engagement to use toward unique experiences.
Is BCKSTGR intended to replace any other platforms or is this something new, something that would enhance the experience of social media savvy consumers? BCKSTGR is the first company of its kind—a next generation social engagement platform. It’s a new and exciting class of entertainment!
In a more "speaking to the average person on the street" kind of way, what's in it for us? If I am a social media savvy consumer, why should I engage with BCKSTGR? What rewards do I get? Individuals engage with BCKSTGR’s participating brands, via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. BCKSTGR converts brand engagement into a valuable currency that consumers can use to purchase or bid on exclusive and authentic one-of-a-kind experiences (such as private dinners with celebrity chefs, backstage passes to sold-out concerts, rounds of golf at prestigious clubs and many more). Visit https://bckstgr.com/redeem for current experiences.
What is the main thing that you would like me to convey to the readers of The Local Tourist in regards BCKSTGR? BCKSTGR rewards individuals for activity they are already doing—engaging on social media.