Today’s “Place” For Your Business – Get Your Business Found With Location-Based Services
Imagine being a restaurant owner who knows that Tuesday is a slow day . How can you reach people in your area that very day and remind them of your delicious Tuesday special? Location-Based Services can put your specials right in the palm of their hand (smartphone) anytime you want!
Would you like to offer a loyalty program to customers without having to print punch-cards? Location-Based Services business program keeps track of all the stats for you and even sends you messages to tell you who your most loyal customers are. All for FREE.
What exactly are Location-Based Services?
Location-based services allow users to connect with others based on their current locations and allow business owners to make special offers to attract new customers and reward their loyal ones. In most cases, people use their smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) to“check in” to businesses like restaurants, bars and stores they visit. These locations are then shared with online connections/friends.
In this article we are going to talk about the 2 most popular and FREE ones: Foursquare and Facebook Places
Foursquare offers a free set of tools to help you attract new customers and keep your best ones coming back. No matter how big or small your business is, you can attract new customers or reward your most loyal ones by offering foursquare Specials – mobile coupons, prizes or discounts – which are presented to users when they check in at or near your venue.
Foursquare Specials can be tailored to fit your needs, whether it’s a unique discount for first-time customers or rewards for the 10th visit. In addition to driving business through Specials, signing up for foursquare as a business owner also allows you access to a “Venue Stats dashboard”, allowing you to track your customer foot traffic over time.
Here are some of the promotions you can offer:
So how does it work?
To help their users find Specials, Foursquare shows them specials near their present location. For instance, if a user is in your store, they’ll see your special offer presented within their foursquare app on their phones. But they don’t have to be visiting your place; if that user is nearby, they’ll also see your offer, and they’ll know that they can stop by to redeem it.
As an additional way of promoting your specials, Foursquare can also provide you with free official foursquare window stickers for the front window or door of your store.
How does your staff know if a customer is eligible for a Special? Foursquare users ‘unlock’ Specials when they meet the Special’s specific conditions. The Special also changes color when it’s unlocked, making it easy for your employees to determine if a customer has qualified or not. On the screen, Foursquare also puts the date and time the Special was unlocked. Finally, unlocked Specials are only available as long as the Special criteria is met, so you don’t have to worry about inappropriate usage.
The best way for you to track redemptions is to have your employees enter a code that is unique to your foursquare campaign. Simply include this code in the text of your Special so that when a customer presents their phone to your employees for redemption, your staff can easily process it.
What we like about this program is that it has a game feel to it. That makes it very appealing as your customer earn rewards or “badges” depending on how often and in how many places they check in.
FB Places is a mobile application that allows users to see where their friends are and share their physical location.
Facebook Places for Business:
As a business owner, you’ll want your customers checking in your business and sharing that with their friends on FB, producing “word of mouth” advertising.
There are 4 types of deals you can offer through FB Places (not to be confused with Facebook Deals, which is only available in a few cities across the US):
- Individual deals for a discount, free merchandise or other reward
- Friend deals where a user and their friends claim an offer together
- Loyalty deals for being a frequent visitor to a place
- Charity deals where businesses pledge to donate to a cause when a user checks in
Here’s a video overview of the program:
As a Place owner, you’ll also be able to advertise it just as you advertise your Facebook Page.
In order to set this up, all you have to do to get started is claim your Business in FB Places (or add it if it doesn’t show up after searching it) and after verifying you’re the owner, you’ll be ready to go!
So what do you think about these free services? Are they appealing enough to use in your business advertisement?
Note: What if you don’t have a brick and mortar business, but still want to use other online services to promote your business? Stay tuned (subscribe to our RSS) for a future post on how to use Google Places to promote your business.
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