By now you should already be aware of the value of social media where marketing is concerned. These days, there is another aspect of social media marketing that has become a very powerful tool. It focuses on something that has long been considered important in traditional marketing: location. Known as location-based social media marketing, it aims primarily to encourage people to “check-in” physically at your business location by offering discounts and other incentives in exchange.
A location-based social media marketing campaign costs practically nothing. Therefore, if you’re able to get significant results from this campaign, it can indeed be very cost-effective. For the most part, the only investment you need to launch a successful location-based campaign on social media is your time and effort.
It doesn’t even need that much time and effort as compared to other types of online marketing campaign. As soon as you’ve set up your account on a location-based platform and put your marketing campaign into place, your customers can pretty much do the work for you and spread the word about your business.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of launching a location-based marketing campaign on social media is that if you fail to make your customers do much of the work for you, then your campaign is likely to fail as well. This is why most businesses offer discounts and freebies as part of their location-based marketing strategy.
While this is likely to cost you a significant amount in the long run, the returns you get from such offers could more than pay for the cost. Another thing that may be seen as a disadvantage where location-based marketing is concerned is the fact that concrete data as regards its effectiveness is hard to come by at the moment.
Offering discounts and freebies is one of the strategies businesses use as part of location-based marketing. Flickr.com photo by bargainbri
The disadvantages notwithstanding, you may indeed be able to reap huge rewards from location-based marketing as long as you know how to do it right. Here are some tips on how you can create your own location-based social media marketing campaign:
1. Choose Your Venue
There are several platforms on which you can build your location-based online presence. You’ll have to create an account and claim your venue on your chosen platform.
Sign-up specifics vary from one platform to the other and you’ll have to make sure you follow these specifics on every platform you choose to use.
Foursquare is perhaps the most popular location-based platform to date and the good news is that this platform is completely free to use. It even gives you some useful suggestions on how you can stay engaged with your followers.
2. Configure a Location Marketing Page
Any platform you choose for your location-based social media marketing campaign won’t require you to change the default information in your profile. However, it is highly advisable for you to do so.
A good number of online visitors do take the time to check out the profile information of a business account, so it’s definitely a good idea to make sure anyone who takes a peek will like what he or she sees on your account profile.
Bear in mind as well that major search engines like Google also index information in social media profiles, which can make it a lot easier for people to find you.
You need to do your best to ensure that anyone who peeks into your profile on a location-based platform will like what he or she sees. Flickr.com photo by LabyrinthX-2
3. Set Up a Performance Monitoring Plan
In order for you to know how well your location-based social media marketing campaign is faring, you’ll have to set some specific goals at the outset. These indicators may include the number of daily check-ins, the number of check-ins that are cross-posted to Facebook and/or Twitter, and the number of offers or deals visitors redeem on a daily or weekly basis.
4. Come Up with Relevant Offers
Remember that location-based marketing is all about incentives. Most people check-in to online venues only because there’s something in it for them, which they consider of value. Therefore, you have to make sure the deals and incentives you offer are relevant not only to your business, but also to your target market’s expressed and implied needs.
You could perhaps offer a small discount or reward simply for checking in. Bigger discounts or more valuable rewards may be offered to those who leave comments (preferably positive, of course) regarding your business.
You have to give people a good reason to check-in to your online venue. Flickr.com photo by dennis
You could also make the experience more fun by coming up with, say, weekly games and challenges. Winners may be rewarded with a sample of new products or a free product of their choice, among other things.
Sometimes even simple pins and stickers would suffice as rewards because people often just enjoy beating their friends at games and challenges.
5. Offer Strategic Incentives
Create special offers that help you increase your volumes during typically low-business hours or days. For example, if you are in retail business and see low footfalls on Mondays, you could use Foursquare to start a discount campaign with offers valid on Mondays only.
6. Offer Your Customers Incentives
Challenge your customers to do something at your location and offer them incentives for the same. For example, a fashion-clothing store, could issue a challenge to its customers to mix, match, and create a party outfit in under one-minute.
The pictures can then be shared on platforms like Facebook and Pinterest, etc. The customers in the pictures would in all likelihood share the pictures on their networks, thus bringing in more publicity and exposure for your location based social media campaigns.
7. Review, Adjust, and Optimize
Using the monitoring system you’ve set up based on your identified performance indicators, review how each component of your location-based marketing campaign is doing. If one or more component isn’t doing very well, find out where it is failing and then make the necessary adjustments to improve your performance in that component.
Be sure to set a schedule for reviewing your performance to ensure that your campaign is optimized and sustained for the long term.
With people relying on mobile devices more and more these days, it may indeed be smart for you to start taking advantage of geo-location technology for your business. With the right tactics and proper management, a location-based social media marketing campaign may just be one of your most useful and cost-effective projects to date.
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media, a Vancouver based SEO company. Pitstop Media has been helping businesses across North America successfully increase their search visibility. If you want to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com