Murphy USA, a chain of American gas stations, has traditionally only used signage to reach new customers. However, after launching a customer loyalty program though a geo-social media platform, the brand told ClickZ it is seeing a large influx of new customers.

The chain found that 44 percent of Whrrl users who have checked in to a Murphy’s location have never given the brand any business in the past.  Additionally, these customers are three times more likely to visit than regular Murphy USA customers, while 85 percent opted to go to Murphy USA over nearby competitors.

“Since the only other place where people can learn about Murphy’s Societies program is the signage around the gas pumps, it appears that a lot of them who are checking in first learned about it from their friends through Facebook and Twitter feeds,”  said John Kim, vice president of products for Whrrl. “They must be seeing, ‘Hey, I’m at Murphy’s!’ when they are on those sites.”

Location-based social networks are becoming increasingly popular with many marketers. A recent report from ABI Research indicates businesses will spend $1.5 billion on geo-social media campaigns by 2015.

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