Social Media, Local Search & Mobile Search Collide in the So-Lo-Mo Revolution
The convergence of latest internet and wireless technologies has created a powerful new opportunity for mobile marketing – social networking and local search through mobile devices (smart-phones and tablets). These location-based mobile social networking services are revolutionizing mobile marketing by allowing users to:
- share real-life experiences via geo-tagged user-generated multimedia content
- exchange recommendations about places
- identify nearby friends
- and set up face to face meetings
Is your business geared to incorporate social local networks into your mobile marketing strategy?
‘Checking in’ with mobile devices
You can use a smart-phone to ‘check in’ wherever you go – whetherit’s at the airport, a holiday shopping trip, parks, bars, museums, libraries or a local restaurant; and share your whereabouts with all your friends. With services from Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook Places, Gowalla, Google Places and others, userscan get special discounts and offers for their willingness to share information about their whereabouts.Mobile apps let them post messages to Facebook and Twitter whenever they visit a place and want to let their friends know about it.
- It's a great form of word-of-mouth marketing for local businesses. People have shown they are willing to allow their devices to be tracked in order to take advantage of special offers.
- Foursquare has garnered millions of users who want to let people know where they've been, where they're headed and where they are now.
- If you’re a business owner, it allows you to reward customers with a coupon or offer when they ‘check-in’ to your business. It provides a measurable way to reward your most loyal customers while attracting new ones.
Location-aware mobile technology is transforming social marketing
Knowing a consumer's location, as well as the time they're at a specific location, can be a useful“predictor” of his or her intent to buy. You can use location-based marketing to:
- Deliver a coupon, offer or discount to a mobile phone user
- Display local ads to a person visiting a website from a specific location
- Deliver detailed product information when someone is standing in front of the product
- Offer incentives for location-based activities such as visiting a store multiple times
- Make it easy to find nearby things such as stores, ATMs or even vending machines
- Provide events and social opportunities based on a physical location
- Share location-based information with others in a social network
Time and localise your mobile marketing to reach people who are actively sharing their location online. Here are a few tips for getting started:
- Specify which geographic areas you cover. If you’re a service business that travels e.g. a plumber, you can specify on Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp or Google Places which areas you cover. This is also helpful for pizza/food delivery businesses.
- Optimize your website for mobile. An easy-to–navigate mobile friendly site is a necessity, not just an option anymore.
- Ensure your own location(s) are “check-in” worthy. Would you check-in to your own location a second time?
- Allow customers to opt in. Not everyone is going to want to disclose personal information such as their interests and their location, so give them the option.
- Be transparent. Once a customer has opted in, make sure to explain exactly how you plan to use the personal information you collect from them, assuaging any concerns over privacy issues.
- Create great deals. Reach out to the deal services such as Group on and Living Social and ask specifically for ways to participate in their instant deals.
- Make it easy to opt out. Don't “lock” customers into a program they decide they don't want to be in. Just like any level of customer service, it's all about keeping customers happy, loyal and eager to make purchases.