Monday, April 11, 2011

The Next Big Thing

Social Media is alive and well, but where is it going next?  This is a tough question, but as a marketer I am putting my vote into geosocial networking.  With dedicated products like foursquare and more traditional social media sites getting involved (Facebook) with the optional location tag, Geo is the next big thing.

What does this mean for companies though, can it be leveraged to create discussion or engage customers? The answer is yes, mostly, like any other social media there will be companies that can use this and will, there will also be companies that should not look into this growing trend.  What do I mean, well it is location based, so if you are a location based business, or your product/service is or is relevant at a specific place then it is time to jump on board. 

Stores, I believe can take the biggest advantage of this by offering deals or specials to people when they are nearby.  If a person has gone to a coffee shop and checked in there, then the next time they are in the area of that coffee shop then the shop can send them a message through the application welcoming them to come on in, with a discount or promo offer.  Also, the shop can offer a customer who has just checked in the ability to send there friends an invite to meet them at the shop, and include a discount to them all if two people show up that were invited.  This same fictional coffee shop could also see that there are people who check in at other coffee shops in different cities near by, and can send them a "I know we are not your normal coffee, but come in and give us a try" with a savings attached.

Manufacturers like Pepsi can also use Geosocial to send coupons or promos when a person is in some place with a high temperature, or if they check in at a convenient store, the direct relevance along with a small incentive makes this a very viable use and I imagine would show to be very effective for a low cost.

Only time will tell if my predictions are true, but with 30% of Americans already owning smart-phones so we will see a lot more relevant advertising over Geosocial Media.

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