Location, location, location goes social

We’re not letting any cats out of the bag by proclaiming that location-based social networking is the next big thing. Talking heads have been falling all over each other to declare location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, and Brightkite this year’s “Twitter.” However, it isn’t entirely clear how businesses can best utilize these networks. Despite this problem, there are things you can do to be ready when the corporate strategies come along.

It’s easy to see why location-based networks are so exciting. We already have targeted advertising in which consumers see ads that will likely interest them based on their social media profiles. We’ve also seen how social media has become the new “word of mouth” where companies’ reputations are made and unmade. Because networks like Foursquare report a person’s location, each check in is a tacit recommendation of the business to the person’s network. The next step in targeted advertising are ads for businesses that appear when a person is near that business.

However, these tips aren’t likely to interest non-retail and B2B companies. Still, it’s good to be prepared, and this article from Inc. outlines a pretty good plan for doing so. The tip we’d like to focus on is claim ing your listings. It isn’t very difficult setting up a Google account and registering your business so it will show up on Google maps. A presence on maps will be crucial as location-based social networking develops, and the listing will be useful in the meantime because in can direct customers your way.

If you’d like to learn more about these topics, or if you’d like to develop a bigger presence online and in social media, contact us, and we’d be happy to put our expertise to work for you.