Location Based Social Media Is About To Take Off

Stanford: Aerial Tagging + zBoardIt’s finally here, location based social media is about to hit the masses, and location based marketing is likely to take off big time.

As Facebook Places finally hits the streets, at the time of writing not in the UK yet, it may now be time for location based marketing to have it’s day. I have always been a strong supporter of location marketing and for many small businesses it is what is required for them to take full advantage of the lower cost base of online advertising and promotion.

What is going to be great about Facebook Places is that unlike Foursquare or Gowalla it will not rely on the front runners or the tech savvy to download the app and start using it. It is integrated into a platform already used by many everyday end users. At the same time it will allow early adopters to carry on using other platforms as they are all integrated to some extent with Facebook Places.

This is the big difference and I why I believe it will start a seismic shift in the way we market locally. Corner shops, pubs, restaurants, and other types of outlet on the high street will now be able to justify investing time on Facebook. It will undoubtedly lead to new innovation from Facebook app builders allowing Facebook Page owners to integrate some type of location recognition into their page.

It won’t just be about offers and discounts either, as many using it will already have networks established over the months and years of Facebook use. Unlike Foursquare where networks need to be recreated, another difference is that Facebook networks tend to be localised. You will have larger percentage of your network local to you or even related to you on Facebook than any other type of network. Leading to more trustworthy and ultimately more useful recommendations.

There is no point in my Twitter network, many whom live 10s of miles away from me or even in other countries, knowing I am having a 2 for 1 dinner in my favourite restaurant. But on Facebook it will be friends and family who will see these updates and are more likely to take my recommendation.

Overall this should lead to more direct use of Social Media by small high street business as the potential will be much more significant. Certainly it will be far more measurable than any other marketing campaigns they run.

About Sean Clark

Building successful online companies since 1999, we help you market your business online. Whether you need help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Paid Search (PPC) or Social Media Marketing call us today on 01603 343477 for a free initial consultation.

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  • Again, you are spot on here Sean. I can’t wait for Facebook places to come to the UK, I already use Gowalla heavily and have done for a long time, but there are no offers or incentives when I check in to local businesses and Gowalla are so heavily US based it’s tricky for UK users to get great content and a good reason to use it.

    As you mention, Facebook should change this and whatever our location, It is going to be an amazing experience for the user to see what is local to them, who is providing offers or simply making users aware of what services are available in the area.

    I use the Voucher Cloud iPhone app for location based offers but, often these can be cold and uninviting … I want to read a bit more about the business and it’s ‘personality’ before I venture in and spend my hard earned cash 🙂 – and I’m more likely to do so after a bit of initial SoMe interaction.

    Great post,

    Richard

  • Richard,

    Thanks for the compliment. You are right it’s personality that is missing a lot from this localisation stuff. This will come through though, especially from the smaller businesses when they start to see the value they can get from it.

    Great things await us in this arena, I am sure of it.

    Sean

  • Hi Sean,

    So when we met last it was in my guise a UK music podcaster, but this brings me to my day job working for Nokia.

    I’m running a large project which is part of a partnership of Nokia and Yahoo and brings together all this Location Based Services (LBS) all together and it’s seriously cool and a seriously great opportunity.

    For example there are real estate companies out there buying Points Of Interest (PIO) for plots of land that don’t exist yet, so people can “envision” a new estate well before the ground is broken. Having your presence on a POI database is going to be essential marketing for every business, not just the coffee house chains!

    Now I just have to find out I can Geotag my podcasts. Want to listen to a Berlin Band when in Berlin? C’mon iTunes – you want some of that don’t you?

    Pete

  • Pete,

    Nice to hear from you and thanks for taking the time to comment.

    The advantages of Location Based Services are vast, as you say they are not limited to small shops or pubs. Not just for pure marketing purposes either but really can be helpful to business and the general public in a myriad of ways yet to be envisioned.

    I am very much a proponent of LBS and have been for some time, as you can see from previous posts, to me it is the link between the unlimited information available online and the real world. This one really puts the Internet into perspective, taking flat file 2D information and allocating a location for it in the real “3D” world in which we live.

    As for Geotagging podcasts, give this article a read, towards the end there are some good ideas on how it might be done.

    Speak soon
    Sean