After attending a recent San Francisco Social Media Club event, I realized that geolocation has a place, and the technology is equally as exciting to consumers as it is to businesses.
For instance, remember thinking when you first started micro-blogging/using Facebook/using social status updates, who’s going to care that I’m headed to the grocery store to stock up on cookie dough? That thought can be dissected to identify all of the different people who will, in fact, care.
First, your local grocery store is going to want to know where you’re going and what factors impacted your decision so they can entice you to keep coming back. Secondly, the corporate supermarkets want to know if the local grocery stores are offering a better price. Next, the cookie dough manufacturers are eager to learn if you have brand loyalty and which kind you plan to bake. Lastly, how about your friend’s who want to know which book you consulted for the recipe? The list goes on and on…
The point is, lots of people are interested in your consumption patterns and most of them are offering incentives for you to divulge this information. Given the state of the economy, customer loyalty is more important now than ever before. Companies have turned to this feature to gather insights and offer incentives based on this newly acquired data, helping them to keep their existing customers and attract new ones.
To illustrate geo-location at its best, just this week Twitter announced that it is partnering with Foursquare and Gowalla on a new geolocation feature called “Places” which allows consumers to see messages from other users who have also visited that location. This technology is redefining social networking by giving local businesses the opportunity to connect with consumers on a more intimate basis. And the best part? Your consumption patterns prove you’ll be interested in what they offer! This same type of feature is found with tools like Google Tags and Yelp, which give consumers the ability to rate a business based on their services.
To jump into geolocation, take advice from Social Media Club panelist Louis Gray of Paladin Advisors Group: Spend five minutes with your favorite geo-location feature and search the terms “super swarms” and “Indonesia.” You’ll be amazed at the possibilities.
-- Heather Arft