School of Information Sciences

SIS-led study examines the benefits that special deals offered on location-based social media networks have for American business owners

A burger joint in Lawrenceville gives free orders of fries with every Foursquare check-in. A café on the South Side offers a discount on a dessert for every first-time visitor review submitted on Yelp.

Special deals, such as these, on social-media networks should provide a win-win situation for everyone involved. The consumer saves money by simply using the mobile app, while the business owner reaps the benefits of inexpensive means of advertisement. A simple scenario where everyone wins, right? “Not so fast,” says a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences and the Stevens Institute of Technology.

According to the study, offering special deals on social media, while a useful tactic for increasing the visibility of an establishment, is not a reliable means for increasing patronage in isolation. Researchers point to a number of factors—such as venue type, area population density, the length of the special-deal offer, and the manner in which potential customers learn of offers—that play a significant role in making special deals a worthwhile promotional strategy for business owners. Read more >

Want to learn more about SIS?

We host a variety of on-campus and online information sessions so that you can:
 •  visit us on-campus or virtually
 •  meet our faculty and staff
 •  tour our research and classroom facilities
 •  explore careers in the information professions
 •  learn about our multi-disciplinary degree programs

Sign up for an information sessions or view our schedule of walk-in sessions today! Learn more >

  • iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3)
    More >

  • iFest 2015: Technology. Entrepreneurship. Creativity.
    More >
  • Intranet: Current faculty, staff, and students
    More >