- Foursquare - Check-in enough to become the mayor? Foursquare an extremely popular app. is a highly social way to utilize location-based marketing. They are a leader in the field and have reached a point where they are a major player in LBM. Foursquare allows a customer to check-in and leave suggestions or messages at various establishments. Businesses can promote on Foursquare via coupons or providing perks if someone becomes the mayor. Mayorship – though gimmicky – leads to real world prizes, which is unique and a great bridge between the physical and digital world. These real world prizes create loyal customers who often go to these businesses with hopes of becoming the mayor or retaining their mayorship. Foursquare also has a unique and fun badge system where you receive badges based on your check-ins. When someone checks-in they also have the option to post on Facebook and Twitter - these check-ins serve as a way to promote businesses. Check-ins show that a person likes your product enough to announce to their social networks they are there.
- Yelp – Yelp uses one of the most powerful forms of marketing – word of mouth. Current customers leave reviews for anyone who is looking. Sometimes these reviews are positive, and sometimes they are negative. However the review is slanted they tend to be more trusted as people assume that these are non-commercial based reviews. These reviews are then found by potential customers who have searched “nearby” and been geolocated by GPS. Much like foursquare there are also check-in and deal options, and businesses can utilize these to reach customers at the right time and in the right place.
- Gowalla – Gowalla has not been around as long as Foursquare, but they are extremely popular. Gowalla is a GPS based application that tracks your location, and does so with a great user interface. One feature I really like is that with Gowalla you can’t check into a location unless you are physically there. You can’t game the system with Gowalla as it uses your GPS to find where you are, and if you aren’t there – you aren’t checking in. Additionally Gowalla allows you to make trips, which are an excellent feature if you are just visiting a new city. These check-ins are also pushed to social networks, which allow potential customers to see that their friends frequent an establishment.
- Show some love – We have all seen the stickers for Yelp local stores. Remind people in the physical world of what you are doing in the digital world. Keep your location based marketing top of mind.
- Make deals that matter – If a potential customer is close and they see a great deal, they are much more likely to go to your store than for an average deal. Think great discounts to woo repeat customers.
- Stay current – Make sure that you are listed on all the major location-based marketing services. Many have phone lines and if the address or phone number is incorrect it is important to correct them so your check-ins have that viral effect with the correct information.
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