Location-Based Social Networks Are a Game-Changer for Small Businesses

There are many new sites and apps that are integrating location-based services and mobile services to provide an all new type of social media tool. Such examples of this are Foursquare and Yelp. They change the way that customers interact within the physical location of the business. There’s more information being given to consumers, thus making it easy for them to make better decisions as to where the shop, eat, sleep and enjoy life.

New location-based social startups have gone, and continue to go above and beyond the other social media networks. They are building up and expanding on the customer experience.

One company collates social information about neighborhoods and another uses indoor GPS services. There are three new trends that can be seen to change the way that small businesses can interact with consumers.

Indoor GPS Services

You may think of GPS as for outdoors only, but Bytelight is a Boston startup company that had the great idea of taking GPS and bringing it indoors to analyze customer movements. The startup integrates with LED lighting that’s already inside the building to track how customers are moving within your business based upon their mobile device. A customer can then use an app that the startup has in order to engage and navigate with the business by receiving coupons and other promotions based upon their location.

Location-based marketing brings online and offline content together. This makes it possible for customers to interact differently with businesses. If a coupon or deal is delivered only when a customer is in a specific area of the store, it can lead to higher ROI. Bytelight is licensing their products to LED manufacturers, thus prices of services vary based on the scope of installation.

Socially Collating Demographics of Neighborhoods

Livehoods is a research project being conducted at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. This project is tracking data from 18 million public tweets and check-ins as a way to collect demographic and geographic data about locations and people visiting the location. This will tell the story of the different neighborhoods in a city. With such snapshots, businesses can target products and promotions more effectively.

So far, there have been seven cities mapped throughout the United States and Canada. These maps can be used for free to learn more about the regions as well as their customer base.

The Mobile Wallet

There are many unique products on the market that allow consumers to hold gift certificates, gift cards, tickets, coupons and other items on their mobile device. Such platforms include Google Wallet, Gyft, and Passbook. This allows businesses to interact with their customers without facing much competition. Customers can be engaged with discounts and offers only available in their mobile wallet and that can only be redeemed in stores.

By using the mobile wallet, there’s a new way to provide local content that leads to more relevant and effective marketing.

Your small business needs the help where it can find it. With more effective marketing campaigns using social media, you have an ideal way to reach your target demographic.

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