By Justin Delos Reyes, Web Success Team
Geo-Social Media has become the “it” thing to do on wireless devices. Geo-Social Media includes Location-Based Services like Facebook Places where users check-in at businesses or other places of interests to notify their friends about where they are and what they are doing.
Geo-Social Media applications offer users a convenient way to broadcast their location, and it gives brands an opportunity to build customer loyalty. Research shows that people are more likely to make purchases and visit places based on what their friends say. Knowing this, it’s in your brand’s best interest to hop on the Geo-Social Media bandwagon.
Build Loyalty and Raise Awareness
Your customers and clients are starting to feel the need to check-in wherever they’re at. It has become a natural activity for them as is tweeting on Twitter and posting to Facebook. Checking-in is actually more convenient than tweeting and posting because there is little thought and energy required. All a user has to do is search and select.
When they check-in at your business, your brand is advertised to all of their friends on Facebook, Foursquare, and a myriad of other services that they might use. And by registering and being active on these sites, you are also helping your website’s SEO. Google is more likely to recognize your brand as a legitimate business if a consistent amount of activity is taking place on your brand’s pages.
Give to Get
Everyone likes discounts and everyone loves freebies. Some Location-Based Services give you the option to reward your customers for checking-in through discounts and other promotions. What you give in return for people checking-in is entirely up to you. A 5% discount probably won’t do much, but a 10% discount may do wonders.
Social Media for the average user is a narcissistic medium where it’s acceptable for them to talk about themselves, where they’re at, and what they are doing. How your brand populates their thoughts via Geo-Social Media depends heavily on the incentives you offer. What can your business afford to give? What are you competitors giving? Is free stuff out of the question?
Choose the Right Services
In addition to thinking about what to offer your customers through Location-Based Services, think about the applications you will use to reach them. Your customers have several options to choose from. Foursquare, Facebook Places and Yelp, have proven themselves as the front runners. But they didn’t reach success overnight (Facebook Places is piggy backing on the success of Facebook itself).
Social media lends itself to to taking risks, pushing the envelope to see how your customer base will react, and trying new strategies. Early adoption of an up-and-coming Location-Based Service may be good for your brand if the service takes off. Consider paring an up-and-coming service with a proven service like Foursquare to maximize your Geo-Social Media opportunities.
How does your business use Location-Based Services? Is the risk of using up and coming services too high or do you see value in them?
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