Why Your Business Should Take Foursquare & Geosocial Media Seriously

Why Your Business Should Take Foursquare & Geosocial Media Seriously

By Chad PollittFeb 25 /2011

Geosocial Media - FoursquareWhat is geosocial media?  Geosocial Media (also known as location based services or LBS) is a type of social network in which subscribers “check in” as they occupy a specific brick-and-mortar location, such as a store, office or restaurant, via their smart phones using GPS technology. 

Currently there are three major geosocial media sites, Gowalla, Foursquare and Facebook.  There are good reasons for any type of business or brand to be represented on one or all of these geosocial media sites.  Below are some of the reasons your business or brand should be on LBS.

Search Engine Optimization

Regardless of your type of business, having your brand represented in geosocial media will benefit your website's SEO.  Google will see your brand on one of the geosocial sites and have more confidence that your business and/or brand is legitimate.  Geosocial media sites are very good ranking quality signals to Google.

Smart Phone Revolution

The cell phone is no longer for voice communications alone.  In fact, the smart phone has taken its place and is poised to overtake the personal computer as the number one way users surf the internet.  The growth numbers for smart phone adoption are astounding.  This means that even more people will have access to geosocial media services in the near future. Some of the key indicators:

  • Over 80% of the nation's population has a cell phone
  • Cell phone subscriptions will top 5 billion globally before 2011
  • 68% of Americans get news and current events information on their cell phone
  • Mobile phones will overtake PC's for web surfing by 2013
  • There are 61.2 million smart phones currently in service in the U.S and the numbers are growing quickly

Inside the Numbers: Location Based Social Media

Below are some key growth numbers and demographics from users of Facebook Places, Foursquare and Gowalla.

  • Foursquare grew 3400% in 2010
  • More than one million check-ins per day on Foursquare
  • 86% of those checking in using geosocial media are under the age of 43
  • 70% of users have earned a college degree or higher
  • Average annual income stands at $105,000
  • Geosocial media users are 38% more likely than the average U.S. online adult to say that friends and family ask their opinions before making a purchase decision
  • Brick and mortar businesses can communicate with users that are geographically nearby via geosocial services

Geosocial Media - FacebookGeosocial Media can Push Content to Facebook and Twitter

As geosocial media users check in to your business or brand, it will be featured on their personal Facebook wall and/or Twitter stream.  The more friends or followers a person has, the more people your brand or business will be exposed to, bolstered by:

  • Greater than 500 million Facebook users
  • More than 200 million Twitter accounts
  • People using geosocial media vouch for brands to their friends/fans/followers when they check-in because the check-in is posted to Twitter and/or Facebook
  • 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know
  • Your brand can potentially be exposed to millions of people

What about the economic benefits?

If you are selling something to consumers, for example apparel or books or food, you can offer direct discounts or special promotions via geosocial media. As people check in, they qualify for these offers, and the word spreads as their followers see the value from their trusted sources. Even if there is no direct discount, a check in is the social media equivalent of a word-of-mouth referral. For example, my friends see that I'm having a beer at the local tavern. Essentially, I'm providing free advertising for the tavern. Even B2B companies can get in on the action. Visitors to your office can automatically receive special information offers, e-books or promotional products when they check in. The possibilities for promoting your brand are endless.

Now you have no reason to ignore geosocial media.  Even if you can’t fathom the direct financial benefits, you can always improve your website's SEO value.  Either way, geosocial media is here to stay and it can help your inbound marketing results.

What are your innovative geosocial strategies?

*Data from Mashable, Fast Company, Wikipedia, Foursquare, North American Technographics, Facebook, Nielsen.

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