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Why Geolocation and Social Media are a Marketer’s Dream

On social networks, people find old friends and discuss their lives online, including sharing tips on coupons, offers, deals, and commenting to one another about brands and companies.

…Some people share things we’d rather not know about. But we won’t get into that.

Social media has proven to be a boon for marketing because it creates a space where companies and brands can interact directly with consumers, creating near-immediate feedback, and access to consumers’ network of personal friends.


The last couple of years have seen the introduction of geolocation to social networks, which takes you beyond simply knowing what people are saying about your brand and to whom. Now you can know where people are talking about your brand as well. You can use this information to create stronger consumer relationships and draw in additional customers by leveraging the social gaming aspects of geolocation networks.

Creating Stronger Consumer Relationships

Consumers are loyal to brands that are loyal to them, i.e., if you show your customers that you care about them, they will return the love with increased brand loyalty. By monitoring geolocation networks, a number of companies already offer discounts or special offers to people who “check in” at their location.

For example, if a customer enters your ice cream parlor and checks in to Foursquare or Gowalla or Tweets about it, you can reward him with 10% off his ice cream cone. The discount can be sent through the geolocation service of choice as a text message directly to the cell phone of a customer standing in your ice cream parlor. And if the customer knows you’re rewarding them for being a great customer, you can count on them returning again and again to your parlor to buy ice cream.

One of the best aspects about rewarding customers for checking in is that each time a customer checks in at your location, all of their friends will see that they checked in at your business. It’s like an automatic referral to everyone in that customer’s social network, increasing word-of-mouth advertising, bringing in more customers, and boosting profits.

Leveraging Social Gaming

One of the coolest things about geolocation apps, like Foursquare or Gowalla, is that they are competitive. That means that “players” are rewarded with points, badges, or other tokens by frequently checking in from locations or repeatedly checking into specific locations. For example, in Foursquare, you can become the “mayor” of a location if you are the most frequent person to check in at that location.

A number of restaurants and retail stores have clued into this aspect of the game and offer discounts or incentives to the mayor of their location. Once you’ve created a real-world incentive to the game, consumers will begin to compete for that coveted number one spot. In essence, you’ll have customers competing to be the one who comes to your location the most.

Geolocation games are a marketer’s dream because it allows you to create location-specific incentives to increase consumer relationships, leverage their social network, and create competition among customers to be the one to visit your location most.

One thing you can’t forget though?

You need to STILL have a homebase. Don’t lose track of your actual business website. If you’re not spending a lot of money (ie: only buying the domain and using there’s lots of free ways to build a home base so that those using your geolocation tools and following your brand on social media.

Make sure you’re doing the usual… integrating social media into your site using plugins like Twitter Tools. You can even find some script to put in the sidebar widgets to  simply display.

Design wise? There’s tons of free themes out there, ranging from clean business themes like Business Turnkey (download) to magazine style layouts like the Overstand theme (download).

Geolocation and social media are definitely a marketer’s dream. Just don’t neglect the other aspects of your business as well :)

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Swamibu

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