Along with the adoption of social media in many businesses marketing strategy, Geo location has become an increasingly popular (and effective) way to attract and keep new business. There are more and more services that enable geo location through social media channels including Foursquare, Facebook Places, Loopt, Gowalla, GeoAPI, , SimpleGeo, Google Places, Rally and other emerging systems.
So what is geo location basically about? It’s fairly simple in concept: geo location is content that has been tagged with geographic data such as GPS coordinates or a street address. You can geo locate a video, a blog post, a Twitter tweet, a news story – or just about anything in your life, or your business. Geo locating is driving a host of social media channels to prompt you whenever you check in, which in turn can let your friends and followers know where you are – which may prompt them to action. Perhaps they’ll meet you if you’re close – or create a new conversation about your location or business. But there’s much, much more to geo location on the horizon.
As new people engage in geolocating their lives, the issue of privacy becomes an even more important aspect of the systems and channels they chose to use. Privacy is, and will always remain a critical aspect and concern in all social media, and geo location is no different. But I believe that the value of using location-based tools will eventually become more and more secure, and far outweigh the privacy concerns that many early adopters have at this first stage of use. For businesses, that means that those who adopt and use geo location for the their brand may well take a lead in a cost-effective, interactive channel to build their business following – and increase sales.
Once you get oriented to one or more geo location services, there are many ways you can use them to your advantage. Starting a customer loyalty program is just the start – rewarding your business followers who engage with you in this social space will not only drive more loyalty, but create a competitive social drive to your door. Consider a promotion that starts when only a certain number of customers check-in to your location, or even provide your check-in customers points that build to levels of discounts or special offers on your products or services.
There are many, many new ways that business is now using social geo location to build both brand awareness, and physical visits. I think you’ll agree that we’re just getting started with this new way of marketing your business brand to an emerging, growing community of loyal followers.
I’ll be covering this topic in more detail in the months ahead, including the implications for entrepreneurs, “green” businesses, and sustainability.
How have you used social geo location for your business? What types of promotions have you seen that you think are most effective. What do you think of this trend overall? I’m always more interested in your thoughts than my own opinions – and I appreciate your comments!