Thanks to location-based social networking applications, your business can get instant and free exposure online from customers who tell their friends what they’re up to.
These applications, like Foursquare, use GPS technology to track users’ locations. They allow users to “check in” to locations they visit and update their friends online about their whereabouts. That translates to free advertising for your business and an easy way to provide customer incentives.
Foursquare is a social city guide with the ability to recommend places based on your activity of your friends and other foursquare users. You use your phone to “check in” at different places you visit, from bars and restaurants to parks, museums and even the grocery store. It allows you to leave tips and images for your friends to view as well. Foursquare rewards you for checking in with badges, points and mayorships.
Small businesses can leverage Foursquare to market and advertise for almost nothing. Users can share their location with their Facebook friends or Twitter followers, and with that option it gives a promising opportunity to reach a large audience. The check-in gives immediate discounts to customers who have checked in, like a free dessert at a restaurant or an extra espresso shot at a coffee shop.
Big-ticket retailers can use this feature as well. They can provide daily offers for discounts including a percentage off their purchase or a small cash discount. Additionally, businesses can consider holding a “check-in” event and advertise that everyone who checks in will receive a special offer. Rewarding your customers for checking in will give them an incentive to return. It is not about the technology as much as the strategy.