Is Geolocation Marketing Regaining Popularity?

ColdstoneSocial media is constantly evolving.  We are only four weeks into 2013 and Facebook has announced a new search function, Twitter released their new video sharing mobile service and Foursquare launched their second app, Foursquare for Business.

Even though privacy concerns on social networks are a hot topic and may be the reason the popularity of geolocation marketing declined, including it in your social media strategy for 2013 is a good idea.

Launched in 2009, Foursquare changed the way people interacted with businesses, amusement parks and even their own residence.  The excitement about someone becoming the mayor of a certain establishment after multiple check-ins created confusion.  Small businesses in tune with social media began to offer specials to people who checked into their establishment and offered the Mayor badge holder a different discount just to say “thank you” for their loyalty.

Consumers excited about their check-in began to happily post it to their Twitter and Facebook profiles.  Once media outlets began to report on the dangers of letting everyone know your location, Foursquare’s popularity declined and so did geolocation marketing.

Two years ago, a nifty little photo sharing application named Instagram came along and involuntarily re-lit the geolocation marketing flame.  As Instagrammers started tagging their locations in their photos, along with tweaking some privacy settings, people started adding their locations not only to Instagram photos, but also Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook took that data from photos, along with other likes, status updates and other shared geographic location data and made a search engine that is more than likely going to change the way people search for information.

graph search example

Twitter’s newest app, Vine, allows people to interactively and creatively share their location.  Yes – six seconds is short, however, think about the number of six second videos that will be created in Times Square on New Year’s Eve or at an amusement park right before that scared brother of yours hops in the front seat of the newest rollercoaster.  It’s only a matter of time before businesses notice the value of Vine and create a video contest for their customers to enter while inside their establishment.  To be honest, the opportunities to use Vine for location based marketing campaigns are endless.

Foursquare has been quiet in terms of popularity, however, they have been making subtle changes and advancements to their application.  Ten days into January, Foursquare launched a new mobile check-in detail page.  In addition to the continuous roll out of badges, the release of an app just for businesses shows Foursquare has no intention of going away anytime soon.

4sq iPhone

Although privacy will always be a concern, if communicated properly, people will feel comfortable sharing information with businesses on networks they trust.  As people become more accustomed to checking in at restaurants, movie theaters, stores amusement parks, etc., it’s imperative that businesses pay attention.

People love to be rewarded for loyalty and relish the thought of winning first place in a contest.  Whether it comes from a six second video posted to Twitter, being presented with the mayor badge from Foursquare or helping a friend make a decision via Facebook’s Graph Search, geolocation marketing can play a key role on each social network.  Is geolocation marketing regaining popularity or is it just a fad for the time being?


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