We’ve all seen the rise of place-based messaging and check-in sites popularized by Facebook, Foursquare, Groupon, Blippy, and Loopt. While we may not know entirely how it works and are perhaps a little dubious about its potential abuse by advertisers, most can agree it’s a startlingly neat intersection of GPS and social networking. A fair share of the latest mobile news now focuses on whether mobile devices are compatible with these new social media applications, so it’s probably not a bad idea to track the ways in which the medium can benefit and aid us. Here are the top ways in which location-based social networking is a good thing:
Viral marketing for businesses
If you have a small business, location-based media is an excellent way of making your customers feel like they’re a part of the growth of the company. And in many ways they are. Their checking in and wearing your brand badge is a testimony to their devotion to your service and is better advertising than you can imagine. Sites like Foursquare allow you to name someone “Mayor” of your venue, which is a creative way of rewarding your top messenger. Groupon may annoy venue regulars who get grumpy from an influx of new customers, but the reality is LBM branding is gold for small businesses.
Finding great deals
LBM is good the customer too, alerting them of great deals and promotions in their area. Instead of waiting to find that magical coupon in the newspaper, the best location-based social media sites aggregate good deals like a search engine of discounts. And you don’t need to search in a vacuum either; if your friends use the same site you can glean deals from them. Any ‘bargain hunter’ who is not an LBM fanatic is missing out on a whole new dimension of retail.
Location-based media sites feature product and service reviews from its users, which allows for small businesses and vendors to get rich and immediate feedback from customers. Instead of waiting months or possibly years before refurbishing or tweaking their business models, entrepreneurs can now treat their enterprise as a constantly evolving work-in-progress, developing and improving their brand at the behest of the consumer, who, after all, is the lifeblood of the company.
While it’s easy to be intimidated by the thought of your location being advertised for all to see, more prudent technology users should be able to see that the value of location-based social media is potentially tremendous for small business owners and consumers alike. Just don’t commit any crimes while you’re shopping and you should be fine.
Author Bio:- Ryan Sandberg is an avid tech blogger and enjoys keeping up to date on the latest news. When he is not guest blogging you can find him posting on his phone news site or on his tech news site.