Our mobile and ultra-connected world offers a great deal to anyone willing to look for and use it. The amount of available data is immense, and both marketers and salespeople have been capitalizing on it to gather information on who is using their product or service, what they’re doing with it, how they’re getting or accessing it, and when they’re most likely to purchase.
And with the recent rise of GEO location, companies have at the fingertips an almost complete customer profile. But if you think GEO location provides only an obvious answer to an obvious question (“where are customers getting my product/service?” with the answer “on my website” or “at my store”), then you’re missing out.
Geolocation is the next big thing. And much like the long-held battle cry in real estate – location, location, location! – it too should be a cog in your marketing efforts. If it’s not there already, add it. And if it is there, expand it.
What is Geolocation?
Geolocation is simply the detection of the physical location of an internet-connected device. It ranges from very general (a continent or country), to more focused (a particular city or even neighborhood), and finally precise to within a few meters using latitude and longitude coordinates. It might be determined by GPS, IP address, wifi hotspot or access point, social media check-ins, cell tower triangulation, or any combination therein.
How to Use Geolocation
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 30% of social media posts have geolocation enabled, and 74% of smartphone users get directions based on their current location. When they post online or use a map program, it shows where they are in real time. That’s a lot of people making their location available, and that can be a marketing goldmine.
Tip 1 — Location-Based Searches
Many social media platforms allow for location-based and keyword driven searches. Twitter’s Advanced Search options, for example, allows you to find tweets and users by city, region, or country. Combine that with a few carefully chosen keywords, and you can zero in on prospects with laser-like precision.
Let’s say you have a restaurant. At first glance, you need to design a business website for your restaurant that strongly focuses on your location. Google My Business, Bing Business listing, Yelp and other authority Citations will let you able to appear in Google local results for regional queries. Your website should have all optimizations related to your location search queries. Free website builder tools let you easily create a stunning website with lots of customization. You could conduct a Twitter search for users located within a kilometer of your location with the keywords lunch, hungry, where, and eat. Anyone nearby tweeting about being hungry or asking where they should eat as noon approaches will appear in the search results. Respond to them with your lunch specials, or offer a special promotion. Real-time, real engagement.
Likewise if you run a retail fashion store. Find people nearby using keywords like shopping, retail therapy, your brand name or the names of items you carry, or anything else that relates to your business. Reach out to them about your latest discount or flash sale.
A manual search during peak or relevant times can be tremendously effective. Someone literally down the street from you that receives a relevant message about your business is much more likely to respond than if you simply blanket social media with the same details.
Third-party services like Twilert give you an even stronger and more robust geolocation filter. Find customers. Find prospects. Give them incentive to stop by when they’re closest to you.
Tip 2 — Targeted Offers and Messaging
Geolocation need not be in real-time in order to be useful. Collated details about where prospects have been over a set period of time can provide a profile of their buying habits and possible interest in your product/service catalogue, or that of your affiliate partners
Send an offer for discounted tickets to someone who has visited three museums over the past few days. Provide an affiliate coupon to someone else who has checked in at two Italian restaurants this week. Where they HAVE been provides everything you need to know about where they might like to go.
For customers who haven’t visited you or your partners in a while, you could send a simple “touch base” note to see how they’ve been. Stay in mind…at all times.
A platform like white-label cloud solution uses sophisticated metrics and analytics to provide these details on your users. See where they’ve been, and by extension, what they’ve been doing. Armed with that information, your on-platform messaging becomes hyper-targeted and relevant to them. And in the consumer battle arena, that can make all the difference.
Tip 3 — Location-Based Alerts
Set up an automatic alert every time someone is at a particular location. Have a cafe near the Empire State Building? Receive an alert whenever someone checks-in, or uploads a photo from there:
This engages that individual user, and the inclusion of the #empirestatebuilding hashtag also brings it to the attention of everyone else at or near that destination, too.
What about the godfather of the social media game? Facebook recently introduced “Nearby Friends”. This service gives you a virtual heads-up whenever a friend or fan is near you.
Tip 4 — Through the Door Engagement
Depending on the level of geolocation enabled, many businesses with a physical location (retail or otherwise) are enjoying success with “through the door” messaging. This type of engagement sends a targeted welcome or greeting message to users as they enter or approach your space. Special offers, reminders, coupons, affiliate marketing, and timed promotions are all possible.
Tip 5 — Use it for Wide-Ranging Guidance
Geolocation can provide data on everything from how often customers visit, how long they typically stay in your space, and even where in your store they spent the bulk of their time. This information has obvious ramifications on your marketing campaigns, store layout, product placement, and on and on and on. Collect it, analyze it, and use it.
When it comes to geolocation, it’s a balancing act between respecting privacy and utilizing the data. Many location-based services require an opt-in (agreeing to location-based services, geotagging of photos, social media check-ins), so users know it’s happening in the background and have welcomed it in.
Connecting with customers and prospects at the right time is crucial, and geolocation allows for unprecedented real-time engagement. Reach out to them when they’re near, reconnect with them they’re far, and cultivate the kind of relationship that will benefit you both.