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Posts Tagged ‘foursquare’

3 Ways Small Businesses Should Leverage Location-Based Marketing In 2011

By John Joyce on October 13, 2010 - Comments 0

Small business owners have an opportunity to take advantage of several great technologies to broaden their local reach and position themselves as the big fish in their respective small pond.  I’m going to assume that most local businesses are listed with the three major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) but, if not, refer to this white paper for instructions.  Each of these platforms has local search embedded, to some extent, so you want to be able to take advantage of this free marketing platform.

To go one step beyond simple search, let’s take a look at ways you can proactively deliver your message to prospective customers based on their geographic location:

1)  Twitter

I just read an article this morning about a local bakery, Sugar Coated Bakery, that has managed to thrive in this difficult economy even with the rising cost of ingredients like flour and sugar.  They have a Facebook page but no Twitter account listed on their site and I immediately thought of a product I read about last year, Baker Tweet, which enables you to scroll through your list of baked goods and Tweet when a new batch comes out of the oven.  Also, Advanced Twitter Search allows you to identify people based on their location, follow them and, hopefully, they’ll follow you back.

Give people the opportunity to friend, follow or like you in any way they choose and then make sure you keep the conversation going.

2)  Foursquare

I’ve written about Foursquare before and it has defined the location-based marketing space by proving the value of building a participatory community as opposed to the more conversational platforms like Facebook.  This is a solution where you can reward your best customers and build an army of evangelists simply by letting them take part in your success.

This is one of the best ways to build loyalty and generate repeat business from your most loyal customers.

3)  Location-Based Advertising

If you’re having trouble building a following within social media platforms, help may soon arrive in the form of location-based advertising from Twitter.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could reach your core demographic within 20 miles of your business with a very focused value proposition?  Foursquare has stumbled in their efforts to deliver location-based advertising options but maybe it’s a sign that their platform is best suited for DIY campaigns only.  Google just announced that Marissa Mayer has been promoted from VP of Search and User Experience to a new role focused on location-based services.

Three big players all vying for your advertising dollars.  Let’s hope at least one of them comes up with a solution that delivers.

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Using Foursquare To Build Brand Loyalty: Building Your Online Marketing Ecosystem Part XV

By John Joyce on April 9, 2010 - Comments 0

Personally, I haven’t found anything useful about foursquare other than to compete for the Mayorship of a local health club with my friend Anand Rajaram over at Office Drop.  With that said, I do think businesses that exclusively operate locally can creatively leverage this type of location-based marketing service to “monitor and market” in real time.

small businesses can monitor and market to their customers in real  time

Click to view interactive online marketing ecosystem.

If a business embraces a service like foursquare, they instantly connect with their customer base in a way that promotes customer loyalty and offers a compelling reason to come back. (along with bragging rights)

If there are people already visiting your establishment who use a smart phone, then all you have to do is notify them that you are offering specials via foursquare.  As stated on their website, “foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so. We do this by combining our friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics – our users earn points, win mayorships and unlock badges for trying newplaces and revisiting old favorites”.

In a difficult economy, a free cup of coffee or free appetizers at your favorite establishment means as much as the new lawn chairs my parents acquired from collecting S&H Green Stamps when I was a kid. (I know, I’m dating myself)

The ability for your customers to send out their location (your establishment) via social networks such at Twitter and Facebook creates a “viral invite” that can boost foot traffic exponentially.  There are also some fairly simple tools available to track your best customers, deliver special offers when someone checks in, and keep your best customers engaged and involved.

All you local business owners should at least give this a try and see if you can increase business by developing a marketing strategy around foursquare.  Trust me, you’ll still be way ahead of the curve if you do it now and you’ll have your system perfected by the time foursquare explodes.

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