Pew Research Center just released a report on American adults and their use of mobile and social location-based services. The numbers foretell the impending future and here are some of the stats:
– Adult usage of location based check-in services rose from 4% to 12% in one year
– 1 out of 5 18-29 year olds use geosocial services
– 12% of 30-49 year olds use geosocial services
– 5% of cell phone owners use their phone to check-in to locations using apps (ie: Foursquare, Gowalla, etc)
What does this mean for the marketing department? This means that as smartphone penetration in the US increases and as location-based services grow, it is becoming more and more imperative to take notice and take action. Whether you have a Director of Social Media, hire a consulting firm or agency, or start by giving the job to an intern, it’s time to start somewhere.
Good vs. Great Social Media Strategies
Engaging in social based services starts with creating a Facebook page, claiming your business on Foursquare, and checking out Google Places, but really goes so much further. A solid social media strategy can drum up new business, but a great one differentiates your business from the rest. A great social media strategy engages your customers through news, promotions, interaction, and fun, ultimately translating into the message that YOU CARE about them. When you start interacting with your customers through these channels, it makes your business more “human” and creates a deeper relationship with your customer. As a great example of engaging customers and really showing that they care as a business, check out Mechie’s Frozen Yogurt Facebook page with 78,000 likes and a vibrant community.
Using Twitter as the Communication Backbone
Toppers Pizza’s food truck, Spank Tank, along with a multitude of other modern food trucks, rely on Twitter to spread the word and update their customers and “followers” on their location, menu, and news. These new modern forms of media and communication allow businesses to stay connected with their customers on their customer’s terms. Giving customers this flexibility and autonomy respects their privacy, but also communicates the message when appropriate.
Study can be found here: http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/PIP_Location-based-services.pdf