3 Ways Businesses Can Use Location Based Services to Integrate Social into the Marketing Mix is an article I recently contributed to Windmill Networking, a leading social business site. I thought it might be helpful to post a summary here on the company blog, as well, for those of you interested in how to use or improve the utility of Location Based Services (LBS) for your marketing purposes.
What are Location Based Services?
Location Based Services (LBS) employ location based apps, which use GPS technology on smartphones. Through LBS, businesses can reward people for “checking in” at a place of business or an event.
The LBS audience is significant and growing, in fact, the amount of consumers who “check in” to certain places via geo-social services has grown by 50% since last year.
How Location Based Services Can Help Your Business
- Free word of mouth–An eMarketer Study in March 2011 found that the primary factor that influences US consumers to try a local business is recommendation from a friend (52%)
- Reviews attached to each location/business–This is a platform for consumers to amplify their opinions. If your customer experience is mediocre, then your word-of-mouth marketing will be mediocre, at best. If consumers checking in aren’t giving reviews, be a catalyst, ask for their feedback.
- Provides insight into consumers’ interests–Most LBS applications provide analytics, so be sure to establish goals and objectives and then monitor the results.
- Enhances event marketing and promotion
How Businesses Can Best Leverage Location Based Services
Make the most of your marketing by being intentional about the following:
- Listening – LBS is a platform not only for consumers to check-in, but also to share, so it is important to monitor comments and understand what is being said. Study what customers are saying and sharing, and where appropriate, respond to comments/suggestions, or complaints.
- Attracting more local social savvy customers – Tailor offers according to existing strategies, make them easy to share – think about ways to position these offers to attract a new segment of consumers who are actively using social platforms.
- Act on Insights Gained through LBS – Use analytics to evaluate free product/service offerings to understand behavior of walk in traffic or to identify peak sales times, track visitors, customer demographics, and whenever possible, direct traffic to your web site. One important note: if you are directing to your web site from a location-based media property, be sure it is optimized for the mobile experience.
The above is just a highlight from my original post; read the full article to see examples of LBS business success (in businesses both large and small), and for more specifics on types of location based services (Foursquare, for example).
In what ways is your business employing LBS? If you’re not, what are the barriers?