Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Location-Based Marketing With Mobile Apps
With Pokémon Go, the interactive mobile-based game, still trending in the news and on mobile app stores, business owners need to revisit their mobile location-based marketing efforts to capture avid apps users who can also become customers.
You may be scratching your head wondering how to capitalize on the foot traffic generated from Pokémon Go and other location-based apps and games. For Pokémon Go, players follow location maps to participate in the game and knowing the details of the game itself can help you identify promotional opportunities.
For example, a clothing store in the mall encourages people to look for Pokémon characters in their store, to set down a “lure” to attract more characters, and to then purchase actual Pokémon branded t-shirts and other products branded that the store sells. A telecommunications company welcomes Pokémon Go players with a sign at their entrance and starts conversations with players in an attempt to guide them to a salesperson. Stores offer discounts and restaurants offer free desserts to people who show that they’ve achieved a certain level in the game.
If you have a physical location for your business, you will want to claim your presences on these apps where appropriate. Here is a breakdown of top location-based mobile apps that people can use to search and locate your company, access reviews and photos from other people, “check in” to your business location and connect with you. These apps are separate from other social networks including Facebook that also offers check ins and Twitter and Instagram that let you tag your posts with your location.
Foursquare underwent a major overhaul in the last two years, splitting off their location-based check-in feature as a new app called Swarm. Now Foursquare calls itself a local “search and discovery” directory of business establishments, based partly on manual searches and partly on proximity. Using a phone’s GPS system, the Foursquare app helps people locate businesses near them in food, entertainment and nightlife categories and read reviews.
The check-in and social sharing features of Foursquare that let users announce where they were at along with the ability to upload photos and add reviews and tips were moved to a new app called Swarm. You can encourage customers to check-in and add content and use Swarm as a way to get more immediate feedback from them. Ads for small business owners appear on Foursquare, not Swarm, but you can use data from Swarm to build promotions around people checking into your location.
Yelp has expanded over the years from an online searchable directory of reviews for businesses to include social sharing features with check-ins so it now functions more like the combination of Foursquare and Swarm. Users can book reservations at restaurants and appointments at spas. Business owners should claim their location and monitor reviews, using it as both customer marketing data and a way to build better relationships with customers who take the time to share their thoughts on a business. You can upload photos and share messages with Yelp users and create ads and offers to attract new customers and reward them
TripAdvisor is a travel booking and review site that offers free basic business listings. TripAdvisor is most often used for hotel bookings but can be used for other businesses people might visit during a trip. You can also list permanent attractions that visitors can physically visit year-round. The attraction must have an official name, address and published telephone number, and must be open or available to visitors on a regularly scheduled basis. For day tours, scheduled departure times must be provided on a website or brochure. If TripAdvisor is appropriate for your business, you can claim or add your listing and use listing tools such as Management Responses to respond to reviews and Reviews Express to solicit reviews from customers. Paid listings are only available to hotels.
Whenever you build promotions and marketing around mobile apps and games, first look for any business-oriented features that you can leverage for your business. Keep in mind that not every app or location-based game will have longevity so think twice before producing anything in large quantity or anything permanent. Also make sure that attaching your company marketing to a particular app or game is appropriate for your brand.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman