Your Business and Location Based Social Networks

Your Business and Location Based Social Networks

You may be the mayor of your favorite restaurant and have the "Crunked" badge on Foursquare, but has your company thought of ways of utilizing social media's hottest trend?

If you don't know how location based social networks work, here is a rundown:

  • Your smart phone utilizes GPS
  • The application uses the phone's GPS to display several businesses, locations, etc. around you
  • You select or "check-in" at the location you are visiting
  • Your "check-in" can then be shared to your Facebook or Twitter account, if you choose to
  • You are awarded points, "badges," or "stamps" (depending on the application you are using)

Foursquare, MyTown, Brightkite, Whrrl, and Gowalla are the most popular location based networks and have millions of users. Different applications have different goals. For example, Foursquare focuses on being social, while Gowalla is more about discovering different locations around you. So the question now lies with how businesses will utilize this tool.

In order to drive traffic to their stores, some businesses, like Starbucks, have offered specials for their mayors, or most frequented visitors. Starbucks is the first business to offer this promotion nationwide. Other stores offer discounts with a check-in or after a certain number of check-ins. We have been to several events where a Foursquare or Gowalla check-in gets you a free drink or enters you in a raffle. The opportunities for businesses to promote themselves with these new tools is almost endless. It will be very interesting to see how these applications evolve in the coming months and years.

Has your company incorporated this new trend into its social media campaign? Don't be afraid to get out there and try something different to help promote your business. These tools may not be for every business, but it will be interesting to see which businesses latch onto this trend and succeed.

Posted by Eric Garza on 06/01 at 03:37 PM in BusinessMarketingSocial MediaTechnology

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