Imagine the anxiety of queuing up at your local store to buy a latest gadget that Â you know is running low in stock. Will you make it… or will the person in front of you get the last one, ruining your day and wasting the hour and a half wait before the store opened. We all have been in that position, some or the other time, and wonder how nice would it be if we could know beforehand. Only if people at different locations around a geographic region could send out a location tagged ‘status’ or ‘tweet’ of the availability of that gadget in their own local store, we thought. This location based interaction could give a whole new meaning to shopping, and thanks to ‘Location Based Social Network Marketing Services’, it now can.
Earlier this year in January we mentioned in one of our post Location-Based Social Networking will be our future and year 2010 has indeed been a year of location based social media marketing. This clearly spells change for the online marketing world. As more and more people own phones that can tell you where you are and plot this information on a map [GPS enabled mobile devices], location based social media tools have become possible. Geo-location, in conjunction with mobile devices enables real time updates – what’s happening, where it is happening while it is happening and this is set to change the scenario of online marketing. Companies can use geo-targeted internet marketing strategies for higher returns as discussed in our blog Use Geo-Targeted Internet Marketing Strategies for higher returns.
The utility of location sharing in social media is huge. Tying location to reviews, discussions and other content will really help, both who are generating the content and those looking for and benefiting from them.This data can be shared with others or used together with discussions, reviews and other information to build a resource and community that is location-dependent.
Location based marketing also adds significant value to an online community.
Social Media Marketing Tools and How they can help Businesses
Foursquare: Foursquare is one such great tool that lets you share where you are and add tips and reviews of cafes, shops, restaurants, bars, theatres or of any other place. This can then be shared on twitter and Facebook. It has a dashboard for businesses to see information about who had checked-in at their location. This tells businesses when people check-in, how they discuss them (on Facebook or twitter) who visit them most often and those who visit most recently. This is useful and valuable information for any brand as it lets you start to understand your customers in a way you have never done before. Foursquare is growing in use and in the ways people are using it.
On Foursquare your friends are told where you are. So when somebody checks in at a cafe their friends will learn where they are and so learn about the cafe, where they are and what they do. This is what is called peer-to-peer recommendation and is the best possible way of promoting a brand.
Facebook : Facebook has introduced ‘places’ for location sharing. Places check-ins will automatically go to a users profile and news stream and it can be extended to marketers unless privacy settings are adjusted. People will be able to discover new areas or locations through Places and when their friends check-in from a venue they will broadcast their presence at that place to their entire Facebook network.
Now with this information marketers can deliver a targeted advert to customers when they are close to a point of decision. This is very powerful as the companies will be able to deliver compelling discounts and offers even before the customer types in a query into the search engine.
Loopt : Loopt is another location based service that allows subscribers to use their location to discover friends, places and events around them. It, too, has started offering its subscribers rewards for “checking-in” in the same way as Foursquare. The advertisers can make use of a variety of advertising options it provides like click to call, click to video and click for coupons..
Gowalla: Gowalla is a key competitor of Foursquare and is very similar to it in working as a game , awarding subscribers points based on how often they go out, the number of places they visit and even the number of friends they meet along the way.
Booyah’s Mytown: Mytowon is a location based application which is different from all of the above mentioned services in the sense that it is more akin to social games such as Zynga’s Farmville and Mafia Wars. The users check-in at nearby businesses, gain experience points, unlock rewards and earn cash to buy their favourite real -life places.
Likeourselves a very interesting Location based services is launched which helps you hang out not just with your friends, but with your type of people you haven’t previously met by choosing the groups you belong to at nearby geographical locations.
Any time, a user is in a given location, newspapers online can send them stories from that area. This can be extremely useful in case any untoward incident has been reported from that area. Or a user can have a running subtext on his mobile of all the interesting places or events happening in that neighbourhood at that time.
Google’s Near Me now runs off your mobile, and automatically gets you all the top-rated entertainment, eating places, or anything else you are interested in right on your screen. The important thing is you don’t need to manually search for anything any more.
Here is how businesses are using location based marketing…!
Starbucks and L ‘Oreal Test Location-Based SMS Coupons in UK: O2 Media, the mobile marketing arm of O2, has signed on Starbucks and L’Oreal as the first two brands to test the location-based messaging service in the UK for a six-month trial period. The O2/Placecast partnership lets Starbucks and L’Oreal fence off geographic zones and push SMS discounts to O2 customers who enter those areas.
We would love to hear your comments and views on the location based marketing.