One of the hottest trends for local business marketing is using Location-Based Social Media (LBS). Smart phone penetration is increasing at rapid rate, and more and more people are using their smart phones to find information nearby using the GPS built in to their smart phone.
Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and Facebook Places are Location-Based Social Media applications that allow users to let their friends know where they are by “checking in”. Users can also leave reviews and tips for others. LBS apps give businesses the opportunity to offer deals to users who check in.
Location-Based Social Media demonstrates a real shift in who is control of the sales process. Businesses are no longer solely in control of messages, content or information. LBS apps allow the user to create content that they want to share.
Social Location Marketing has the ability to impact the purchase decision cycle at ALL points for the brand: awareness, elevation, consideration, and purchase.
These conversations are happening through location based apps, whether a business is participating or not. Users can create locations for the business that they are visiting to check-in, right reviews and make recommendations.
Checking in with a location based app is a public declaration for that location. It validates the location among the user’s network as a place to keep in mind, EVEN without the user adding any comments about the business. This provides social proof about the location.
Sharing of a location increases brand awareness, and can provide elevation and consideration to visit that business. People tend to trust the opinions of their friends, even if it is just to see that they’ve checked in to a location.
Using LBS in your marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness – it promotes word-of-mouth about your business. Many business owners that I talk to are challenged on how to effectively use social media, what to post, and when to find time to post.
LBS apps allow your customers to write and share reviews. The customer generates the content – it comes from them! Your business just has to set up the LBS features.
Claiming your place on the LBS is important. It an easy way to offer specials to customers and can be an effective way to build brand loyalty and repeat business. And it’s free!
Monitoring what people are saying about your business on the LBS is important. Whether someone complains about your business, gets a deal, or writes a great review you can respond in a timely manner to try to resolve their complaint or thank them for their feedback and their business.
So using LBS as a part of your marketing strategy can be a great simple way for many businesses to use social media.
Contact us if you are interested in learning more about location-based social media and the important of local search for small businesses and franchises.