Six quick tips on how your local, small business can capitalize on utilizing geo-social networks like Foursquare, Facebook Places, and Yelp.
With the exponential growth of Foursquare over the past year, there's a reason why Facebook is rushing to capitalize on the mobile advertising with its own geo-social networking feature, "Places." The opportunity is great for small businesses if they can harness interested Facebook users utilizing these types of services. They already see it with Foursquare's user base, as people post to their profiles from the Foursquare smartphone apps.
However, that being said, geo-social networks are still not the mainstream social communities that Twitter and Facebook are. These geo-social networking communities rely heavily on smartphone adoption to allow the community member to get the best value out of the community. Many times I've walked into a local store, logged in, became the mayor, and told the owner, and guess what, they had no idea what I was talking about.
These geo-social networks provide a great opportunity for small businesses to find and engage with their most loyal customers and smart small business owners would be wise to adopt some kind of engagement strategy for utilizing these networks and their users. Most likely, these loyal users of applications like Foursquare, Gowalla, or Yelp have some affinity to the place they are logging into and if they are a mayor or they are uploading digital media along with their check-ins, you might even have found an evangelist for your local business.
Keep in mind, smaller, more local businesses have loyal customers because they can generally give more personal attention to their customers, adding in that the geo-social networks can help you connect with them even more. With that in mind, here are some quick tips on how your local, small business can capitalize on utilizing these geo-social networks:
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Liana "Li" Evans is the author of the award winning social media marketing book, "Social Media Marketing: Engaging Strategies for Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media" and she is the president and CEO of Da Li Social, as well as an adjunct professor for Rutgers University's Mini MBA Program. Liana has also been featured in the books "Online Marketing Heroes" and "Video Marketing An Hour a Day." As an established online marketing industry veteran with over 15 years of experience she's focused her unique skillset to specialize in integrated marketing and how companies can successfully strategize integrating all online marketing channels as well as offline traditional media. Her deep technical combined with a public relations background enables her to partner with clients for establishing successful online marketing campaigns that combine cross-channel tactics cohesively.
Li was the search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing architect for such companies as QVC and Comcast (Fancast) and has consulted with several other different sized companies such as AOL MovieFone. Her wealth of knowledge in dealing with large e-commerce and content sites allows her a wider perspective into what it takes to launch successful marketing campaigns in the online space.
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