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EFM Morning Brew: Location Based Social Media and Geomarketing: What's All the Hype?

EFM Morning Brew: Location Based Social Media and Geomarketing: What's All the Hype?



Last week E Factor Media (www.efmexperience.com) held another successful Morning Brew discussing Location Based Social Media (LBSM), a trend in social media that has impressed us in both growth and ...

Last week E Factor Media (www.efmexperience.com) held another successful Morning Brew discussing Location Based Social Media (LBSM), a trend in social media that has impressed us in both growth and opportunity for marketers. There have been many LBSM applications added to the social media landscape; however, we chose three that have big implications for marketers right now – Foursquare, Gowalla, and Yelp. Here's an overview on where the applications are now and how they can be used in your marketing strategy.



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  • (The words in gray are all location based apps and websites and mush that’s available…)http://www.grupobetalabs.com/2010/04/social-media-trend-location-based-social-networks/Allows you to share your location with your friends, and keep a record of every place you’ve visitedBusinesses have access to their target audience’s location, enabling geography-based and time- specific marketing
  • Uses geolocation (geographic information) in creating awareness for a targeted audience (a single tactic) within the overall marketing strategy. It can be used in any aspect of the marketing mix – the product, price, promotion, or place (geo targeting). Businesses have access to their target audience’s location, enabling geography-based and time- specific marketing
  • Remember the WOM movement and individual’s life “hot spots” : When users check in, leave their thoughts, its shared across their social networks, therefore it is a future trigger for their friends and followers – “Oh yeah! My friend goes to [this place] for great sandwiches, I should try that too.”
  • **Yelp is an odd beast – unsure of check-ins at this time
  • Also use iPads and iTouch
  • http://www.flowtown.com/blog/how-are-mobile-phones-changing-social-media
  • http://www.flowtown.com/blog/how-are-mobile-phones-changing-social-media
  • http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/forum/showthread.php?p=114064 Learn the Platformsyou need to understand how the technology works. Generally, people use lo-so apps on their phones to “check in” whenever they go places. Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) locatethe users and determine what “venue” they might be at, giving them options to select a location or create a new listing. These “check ins” allow their friends to know where they are now, or where they frequently go. Some services allow users to leave location-based tips for friends to discover later, and several involve social competitions, or the ability to unlock digital badges, stickers, and prizes. Businesses can announce specials or promotions through these apps, so when users “check in,” they receive notifications of nearby deals.Item one on your to-do list should be to become familiar with the prevailing platforms. Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Brightkite(), and Google Latitude are the most talked about in general, though others exist, and popularity varies by geography (e.g. Foursquare reigns supreme in New York City, and Loopt has a lot of clout in Silicon Valley). Other platforms to be aware of include Yelp() and Facebook(), which are just now dabbling in lo-so. Sign up for all of these, and download the apps to your phone if you can, so you can become familiar with how someone would use each one. Most of the networks have iPhone(), Android(), and BlackBerry() apps, and all of them allow you to “check in” via desktop and mobile web browsers.2. Determine Your GoalsBefore you can optimize your business for lo-social networking, you need to step back and determine what you want to accomplish.Are you hoping to increase foot traffic to your store? Do you want to sell more of a particular item? Do you want more patrons at certain times of day? Do you want to promote a specific product? Are you looking for new customer acquisition? Repeat customers?You may say, “I want all of those,” but to be effective, you need to set specific objectives. These will determine your approach to the entire process. Luckily, if you need to change things around to fit new objectives in the future, the cost of doing so is very small.One goal that should be on every business’s list is to be easily findable on every network, which brings us to number three:3. Establish Your PresenceMake sure that your business is listed on each network. Then make sure the address, phone, and details are correct and current. Don’t assume that users have added everything correctly. On some networks, once a venue is there, it’s stuck. Others let you edit. Don’t be afraid to contact the network itself to ask them for help if you can’t fix your venue listing. Gowalla’s Jonathan Carroll says, “We receive dozens of e-mails a day from businesses around the world asking for additions or tweaks to their Gowalla locations, and we’re happy to help out with them.”It’s also a good idea to put up notices or stickers (on the door, order counter, or table centerpieces, for example) announcing “We’re on Foursquare” or “Find us on Yelp.” This will remind people to “check in” and spread the word about you.4. CustomizeDifferent networks have different options for customization, but it’s important that you do as much as you can to build out your listing. Add your website. Integrate with your other social networking accounts, like Twitter(). Features are constantly being added to each network, but great customizations you can try right now include the following:.5. Implement Compelling PromotionsLo-social networks allow you to run promos to increase engagement and get people into your store. Foursquare’s Tristan Walker says, “Any type of in-store promotion you can conceive we want to make it so Foursquare can run it.” Many businesses offer specials like “check in 10 times and get a free appetizer” on all the major lo-so networks. Establish well-conceived promotions based on your goals, then evaluate the results. The biggest mistake you can make is to do this sloppily or half-heartedly.Carroll cites Lift Cafe as a good example. “They offer 10% off every purchase when you check in on Gowalla, which they include in their description and also as a reminder in the success screen after check-in.”“[What] we’ve seen across all channels again and again is that what works is a good local offer,” says Loopt CEO Sam Altman. Businesses with offers that cater to people “making that gametime decision” when they’re out and about do the best. “Offer value to the customer so it doesn’t feel like an ad,” he advises.Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology for the Brooklyn Museum, talks about how the institution uses Foursquare to create a multi-faceted campaign and experience for museum goers.“We knew that many people coming here wanted to know more about the local neighborhood, which is something Foursquare does well. We asked our staff for their opinion of the best stuff in the neighborhood … and left tips at all these venues for Foursquare users to find. Second, we added a promo for our mayor to reward the people who are consistently identifying themselves with us. Third, Foursquare has given us a badge which unlocks after three visits, and this helps reward our community for coming in the doors.“All of these things together help create a total presence on the platform that works well for the Foursquare community, the Brooklyn Museum visitor, and the local merchants in our neighborhood.”“Common promotions across various networks include the following:Raffles (e.g. “Every person who checks in gets a chance to win an iPod.”) Specials for the user who checks in most often. This is a staple of Foursquare promos for a lot of venues (e.g. “Top user/mayor gets the first drink free every time he/she comes in.”) First check in specials (e.g. “Get 30% off your order when you check in for the first time.”) Digital punch cards (e.g. “Check in 5 times, get a free coffee.”)Tips for developing effective promotions:Advertise particular incentives, rather than your business in general (“20% off between 2 and 4pm;” “Buy one burger, get one free;” etc.). On platforms that allow you create your own banner ads (such as Loopt), include your address and opening hours in the ad itself, when possible. Be creative. For example, Incase, the bag and protective case maker, recently ran a promo with Gowalla to put virtual versions of its products into the app to be collected and traded. Carroll remarks, “The result has been phenomenal: Thousands upon thousands of their virtual items have been distributed in Gowalla to an audience who could benefit from their products, but many of whom had not previously heard of Incase.”6. Engage With Your CustomersIt would be a mistake to use Twitter as a one-way corporate megaphone, never interacting with your audience. That’s a quick route to an audience of zero. One of the most effective uses of social media is personal engagement and relationship building with your audience. The same goes for lo-so networks.7. Track EverythingFoursquare just released a slick analytics dashboard for venues to track their stats. Other networks have metrics you can view as well, and they’ll certainly be releasing better and better tools. From data you can study online to qualitative observations at your own store, it’s important to keep track of everything so you can learn what promotions work with your audience. Be aware, though, that your ROI may not be directly measurable, and aside from increased sales, you’re working for brand exposure and increased awareness of your business.8. Be Prepared to AdaptLocation-based social network technology may be the newest and grooviest incarnation of social media, but it certainly won’t be the last. And in a year it won’t look exactly like it does today. Be prepared to adapt your methods when features change, as new tools emerge, and as you review your own promotional results. Again, keep your objectives in mind, and be ready to keep up with new technology.9. Avoid Common PitfallsIn talking with representatives from the major lo-so networks, several common mistakes came up. Here are a few things you should try to avoid:Don’t leave fake reviews or tips. They’re easy to spot, and you’ll lose all on- and off-line credibility immediately when people catch on. Don’t throw up poorly designed ads. “A badly designed banner ad performs so much worse than … a good one,” Altman says. “It’s an insane difference.” Don’t forget to monitor activity. Carroll points out, “Chances are if someone has a gripe or praise with their check-in, it’s a real-time thing: The patron is probably still there … so the business has a chance to make the experience even better.”We’d love to hear about your own lo-so experiences. Let us know how location-based services have benefited your business in the comments!
  • We focused our energy on the top three
  • http://www.orangesoda.com/blog/foursquare-location-based-social-media/Share with your friends and social networks where you areSee where friends and others in your area are hanging outRead tips from previous visitorsRewardsEarn points every time you check inEarn Badges Example: Explorer Badge: Checking in at 25 different locations
  • http://www.orangesoda.com/blog/foursquare-location-based-social-media/Ideal for brick and mortar storefrontTalk about google analytics
  • http://www.orangesoda.com/blog/foursquare-location-based-social-media/Create a variety of customized foursquare Specials: Check-in Specials: unlocked when a user checks in to your venue a certain number of times. ("Foursquare says you've been here 10 times? That's a free drink for you!")Frequency-based Specials: are unlocked every X check-ins. ("Foursquare users get 20% off any entree every 5th check-in!")Wildcard Specials: always unlocked, but your staff has to verify some extra conditions before awarding the Special. ("Show us your foursquare Swarm badge and get a free drink!")And more to come!
  • Best mobile site at the 2010 SXSW Web Awards
  • Stamps: earn when you check-inPins: given for completing goals (10 Pubs = Pub Crawl Pin)Pins for trips: pinned when trips are completedItems: users can leave or pick up at locations
  • Huge, established user baseElite users (Established evangelist base)Reputation of being a reliable, online resource (11 million local reviews)May 2010 – June 2010: Yelp iPhone App had over 1.4 million visitors
  • http://officialblog.yelp.com/2010/06/yelp-for-iphone-updated-we-go-medieval-on-checkins.htmlEarn badges (Sushi Sensei for 6 sushi restaurant check-ins)Got the most check-ins at a business?  You're the Duke, good sir (or Duchess, for the ladies)  Most Dukedoms in a 'hood? You're the Baron! Most Dukedoms in the city? You're the King!Friends opt-in to push-notify them when you check inMap with friends’ nearby check-ins
  • Just added on June 28thMobile Analytics include how many people used Yelp’s app to:View your businessCall your businessGet directions to your business“Check in" to your business
  • Difficult to customize promotions, so plan to use the tools they’ve createdThese are startups, so it’s tough for them to give world class serviceChallenge yourself to work with what you can. What can you do aside from a custom badge?Foursquare: to-do lists for users to explore around your area. Gowalla: Custom icon vs. generic one Shake Shack, NYC, Austin Java, Coop Ale Works.
  • http://blog.steffanantonas.com/case-study-how-to-use-foursquare-to-draw-a-crowd-into-your-restaurant.htmHow to create a flash mob of 161 at your businessEarn Swarm Badge at your location (50+ 4sq peeps in one place)Create a Tweetup (via http://twtvite.com/)Promote socially (Twitter followers were really into Foursquare)Trust the Foursquare Network
  • http://twitter.com/catchachoohttp://foursquare.com/user/catchachoohttp://www.facebook.com/CatchAChoohttp://mashable.com/2010/01/31/bravo-foursquare-snags-a-tv-partnership/
  • http://vaynermedia.com/2010/04/early-proof-that-geolocation-marketing-will-succeed/http://www.mobilebehavior.com/2010/04/22/gowalla-x-nets-case-study/
  • http://vaynermedia.com/2010/04/early-proof-that-geolocation-marketing-will-succeed/http://www.mobilebehavior.com/2010/04/22/gowalla-x-nets-case-study/http://drop.io/drih2ag
  • http://vaynermedia.com/2010/04/early-proof-that-geolocation-marketing-will-succeed/http://www.mobilebehavior.com/2010/04/22/gowalla-x-nets-case-study/http://drop.io/drih2agThis guy experienced his first Nets game thanks to the Gowalla promotion… he even got to meet Mini Sly!
  • http://www.adotas.com/2010/05/location-based-mobile-network-battle-no-fierce-clash-yet/FatiguePeople may get tired of updatesIt’s a game… will people find new games to play?Marketers are tired of new “must have” SM outletsConsumer Awareness“Checking in” not a natural consumer mindset yetOnly 7 percent of Americans are aware of location-based social networks (via Edison Research)PrivacySome users understand consequences of real-time, location based informationExecutionIs there a way to manage check in rewards that is automated?
  • How interested/prepared are you to actively engage with your customers?How does geomarketing intersect with your greater marketing strategy?Is there any aspect of your business that is location-based?Are your customers smart phone users?Do you have the resources to develop and manage your campaign/s?
  • Only a handful of specials in downtown SDYour reasons for participating can be similar to the reasons that customers participate

EFM Morning Brew: Location Based Social Media and Geomarketing: What's All the Hype? EFM Morning Brew: Location Based Social Media and Geomarketing: What's All the Hype? Presentation Transcript