Location-Based Services Introduction To Location-Based Services
Mobile is on the Rise
By the end of 2011, Nielsen expects that 1 in 2 Americans will have a SmartPhone*.
That means more people will access the web from their mobile device and connect with brands on the fly than ever before.
Using Location-based services, your organization can tap into that on-the-go market by producing special offers and making it easy for your customers to spread the word about your business.
What is a Location-based Service?
Location-based services like foursquare, Gowalla, Where, and Facebook Places use the geolocation functionality of a mobile phone or smart phone to provide people with information and entertainment.
These services allow your customers to “Check-in” wherever they go – like coffee shops, events, restaurants, hotels, airports, or even private residences – in exchange for both tangible and intangible rewards.
Why do People Check- in?
OK, it might seem crazy at first that people would “check-in”, but they do (and in very large numbers)! The truth is that people check-in for a number of reasons… to tell their friends where they are, to keep a record of what they do, to earn gaming rewards like badges and mayorships, and to unlock specials from participating businesses and venues that reward check-ins.
As a business owner, you can use these features to offer specials, discounts, and prizes for your loyal customers.
LBS Are Good For Business!
While Location-based services (LBS) aren’t for everyone, they can be good for business!
Location-based services give you a great way to identify and reward your frequent customers.
Best of all, these services offer FREE word-of-mouth advertising and promotions. Every time one of your customers checks-in at your location, they're telling their friends about your business.
There are several Geolocation or Location Based Services out there. You can choose to use one or all of them -- it’s really up to you. In this section, we’re going to look at foursquare and show you how to set up your account, claim your venue, create specials, and run campaigns.
Know Your Options: foursquare
Foursquare is one of the most popular geolocation services in the US. We're going to show you how to claim your listing on foursquare and how to use game mechanics like "mayorships" and badges to promote word-of-mouth advertising for your business.
Did you know? In 2011, foursquare increased it's user base to over 7 million registered users.
Know Your Options: Facebook Places
Facebook Places leverages the existing Facebook network of over 500 million users to let you share where you are, connect with nearby friends, and find local deals.
Know Your Options: Yelp
You may know Yelp as a ratings and reviews site, but their mobile app lets you check-in to and review the stores and restaurants you visit.
Know Your Options: WHERE
WHERE's especially big on the East Coast, and can help you locate the nearest gas station or Starbucks using their mobile app.
WHERE has a range of location-based services, including mobile advertising as well as search and recommendation services.
What the Experts Are Saying
Don't just take our word for it, see what Chris Heine from ClickZ News and Steffan Antonas from Lifecast Media have to say about Foursquare and its significance to small businesses.