It’s the hottest social media development this year – location based check-in type services. For many, the desire to become the mayor of their dry cleaners seems a huge waste of effort, but it is important to understand the consumer behavior that services like Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp! and Facebook Places mean to local businesses.
Today’s consumers are using the web to find and compare products and pricing through their mobile devices (smartphones, iPads, etc.) which enable services and apps to easily bypass the Internet to locate the vendor they’re seeking out. For geo-local businesses, this offers a challenge to find new ways to tap into this consumer trend without having to embrace the marketing hype of any one service.
Here are five suggestions on how your local business can build a more personalized version of social location services, and combine some effort in both offline and online strategies.
Launch your own “virtual rewards” program – Like punch cards at your local coffee house, retailers like those from PlacePop are taking the punch card concept to a new level. Now you can offer your own system to check-in and capture precious information about your most loyal of customers.
Jump aboard the group buying trend – Like group coupon buying services such as Groupon, WildFire offers your small business the ability to create customized group buying offers that take advantage of the viral and social nature.
Coupons from Google Places – Where do local shoppers turn first? Today it may well be your Google Places Page. Google offers a cost effective coupon tool that automatically creates mobile versions of your coupons and offer. Want to know more? Google Places Mobile Coupons
Brand Your Game – Although game playing is the playground of many of social location’s biggest players, you can develop your own without spending a fortune. Tale a look at SCVNGR. This service allows you to create your own game and have it related to verified checkins for a specific QR code.