The world has become one of sharing.  If we look through our personal social networks, we can learn a ton about our friends and family.  What they’re doing.  Who they are with?  What they’re eating.  Using various check-in features, you can find out where your friends and family are.  Savvy businesses can use that to their advantages and develop brand loyalty.

FourSquare, Facebook, LivingSocial, Yelp, and others all provide tools for businesses to reward people simply for “checking in,” or letting their network know that they’re currently at a particular business.

Today, we’re going to provide you with some cool ideas that use location-based marketing to grow your brand and possibly improve customer loyalty.

 

Discounts for Checking In

When a customer walks into your business, he or she can “check in” using a variety of social media.  This notifies their friends that they’re currently patronizing your business.  Many of these social networks offer a sentence or two of space where your customer can say, “best cup of coffee in town,” or lay other praise upon your business.

Many of these applications, including Foursquare and Facebook afford business owners the opportunity to offer those who’ve checked in a discount, simply by proving that they’ve checked in.  This could be something like a free cookie with the purchase of a coffee, or 10% off of your total purchase.  The options are limitless, and people love discounts.  By offering a little something, you’re making a small investment in word-of-mouth advertising!

 

Loyalty Rewards

Some customers are extremely loyal and come to your place of business daily or weekly.  Sometimes as a business owner, you’d like to reward these clients a little more than someone who checks in once or twice.

For Example: If you managed a gas station, you would have regular customers who would come in every day.  They would fill their gas tanks and maybe buy a snack.  They were loyal to the store so you provided them with a free cup of coffee.  They would then tell their friends and family how good the service was at your convenience store.

 

Guerilla Marketing

52e6b4177d9465423f5829f6dffba39a202e4_640One of the coolest features of location-based marketing is a relatively new feature on certain social networks.  By paying a premium, whenever someone who uses an app like FourSquare with in close proximity to your business, they’ll receive your marketing message as an alert.

Example: Let’s say that you own a store that sells women’s accessories and jewelry.  Using demographic targeting tools, you can send a message to anyone nearby your competitor that you’re offering a discount to anyone who checks in to your business today!

 

Charity

Some businesses have begun donating a small amount to charity for each customer check-in.  Not only does this provide a small incentive for someone to visit your establishment, but also it builds good will in the community.  People are more likely to frequent a business that aligns with their moral and social conscience.

 

In Conclusion

By using location-based social networking tools, you have a unique opportunity to grow your business through incentive-based marketing and word of mouth.  I recommend researching the various tools available to you, or discussing them with your social media consultant today!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Delicious
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • Google Buzz
  • Bebo
  • Tumblr
  • Google Reader
  • FriendFeed
  • Digg
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Windows Live
  • E-Mail