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How Location Based Marketing Is Revolutionizing Social Media

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Foursquare and location based marketing

[Editor’s note: This week’s guest article focuses on “location based marketing” and how you can use it to increase sales. Have you tried some form of LBM? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment below. ~Scott]

By Matt Bodnar

Have you tried using social media for your business and found that it just isn’t working? A lackluster Facebook fan page or twitter account really doesn’t provide much value for the traditional brick and mortar small businesses of today.

The problem with these social platforms is that they don’t provide customers a direct incentive to walk into the store and make a purchase. When someone logs onto Facebook, the last thing they want to deal with is a local restaurant spamming their news feed with deals or promotions. People log onto Facebook to see updates from their friends.

How do you overcome this barrier? Use social media to market to people who are ALREADY in your store. That’s right. It sounds a little bit ridiculous, but with location based marketing, its a reality.

Not only can you market to people are physically present at your store, but you can also market to potential customers and give them incentives to stop by.

You can also craft deals and specials that entice people to return more frequently and to bring friends, leveraging social media to increase your customer base even further.

But before I get too ahead of myself, let me explain a little bit about location based marketing. I am a restaurateur and have used location based marketing successfully in my own businesses.

Location based marketing is the hottest new trend in online advertising and social media marketing. Location based marketing takes advantage of GPS enabled “location based services” or LBS such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Deals, and SCVNGR in order to allow customers to access coupons, deals, and specials in real time on their mobile devices.

Location based marketing is changing the way that businesses both big and small are engaging their customer base. Also known as geomarketing or proximity marketing – location marketing let’s small businesses reach their customers in real time using mobile technology.

Small businesses have often wondered – how does social media really help my business? It is very difficult to quantify exactly what benefit social media marketing has on your bottom line. It’s great to have twitter followers or fans on Facebook, but until you can monetize that revenue stream – there is no tangible impact.

Location based marketing turns these soft social media platforms into concrete social distribution platforms that can be used to directly increase your sales. The best part is that these service can be used for free, just like other forms of social media, drastically increasing your marketing ROI and the return on your marketing dollars.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. Visit http://www.locationbasedmarketing.biz to learn more about location based marketing and download a free how-to guide giving you tips and strategies for using location based marketing.

(C) Copyright – Matt Bodnar. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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Social Media: 5 Trends to Consider

Social Media and Niche Marketing

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[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article focuses on social media trends that have recently emerged and that can be leveraged by smart niche marketers to create more traffic and more sales. Take a look at these trends and consider incorporating one or more of them into your current marketing mix. Let me know what you think by posting a comment below.  ~Scott]

 

Does the concept of starting a social media marketing campaign scare you? Don’t let it. While social media sites are quickly growing, they’re also becoming easier to use and are welcoming not only social butterflies but businesses as well. Social media marketing is slowly but surely finding its way into the standard marketing campaign – and for good reason. Here are some of the trends we’ve noticed over the past year.

A Lack of Control

When venturing into the world of social media, it is important to remember that you will have very little control over the actions and mindsets of your followers or fans. Take Facebook, for example. You may decide to build a business page for your organization but you may also find that your fans have created fan pages of their own – unofficial pages where they have chosen to network and talk about your products or services. While that shouldn’t discourage you from building your own page, it should encourage you to check out what others are doing or saying in an effort to monitor and protect your brand.

Exploring Collective Sales

The past year has introduced the concept of collective sales, or collective buying, to the social media marketing platform as well. Sites like Groupon offer businesses a set amount of guaranteed sales. You, as a business, will offer a steep discount but an individual can only take advantage of it if a guaranteed number of people make the purchase. Those clients may not turn into regular customers, but the collective sale will give you the opportunity to gain hundreds of new customers literally overnight.

Location Based Marketing

Technology is an incredible thing and advances in the way people can connect to the internet and, in turn, their social networks has had a huge influence on social media marketing. Anyone with a smartphone or an iPad can access the internet and many love checking in on social applications like Loopt and Foursquare. Even Facebook and Twitter have added applications that allow people to report where they are. Many business with storefronts are now offering incentives, ranging from discounts to free products, to customers who post that they are in the shop.

Social Networks and Gaming

Many social networks, including Facebook, feature incredibly popular games. Despite your hesitance, it’s important to recognize that millions of people are playing the games offered by social networking groups each day. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to advertise within these games. At the very least, you may be able to include your product in virtual form so that those playing can buy your services. They may just decide to do so in real life, too.

Social Media Experts

While social media was at one time completely free, trends now point towards the incorporation of social media experts into the overall marketing plan. These experts have experience setting up Twitter profiles or Facebook pages, making customizations and changes that will give you the most professional and appealing face possible. It’s all about building your brand, and an expert can help you set things up right from the start.

Social media marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and many businesses, from Toyota to Nike, are marketing their social networking pages (especially their Facebook fan pages) even more heavily than their own websites. It’s a trend in itself and will continue to grow over the next few years. Don’t launch an online business (or an offline business with a web presence) without adding social media to your marketing campaign. It’s guaranteed to make a huge difference.

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Coming Soon: Google+ for Businesses

Google+ for business

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Many niche marketers have found success setting-up and actively promoting a business page on Facebook. With the arrival of Google+, these same niche marketers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a similar functionality on Google+.

The wait might be nearing an end. In a recent Search Engine Land blog post, Greg Sterling writes about Google’s apparent designs for incorporating businesses into their future evolutions of Google+.

This is significant in that Google is now going head-to-had with social media rival Facebook. If Google can score a hit with their Google+ features, then the increased competition will be a boon for both online and offline businesses.

What do you think? Leave me a comment below.

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Seven Applications Every Location Based Marketer Needs

Twitter and Location Based Marketing

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[Editor’s note: Location based marketing (LBM) is gaining popularity amongst the “brick and mortar” crowd, for both local and niche marketers.  Here’s a list of services and applications that you can use for setting-up, and running, your location based marketing strategy. Do you have a favorite? Let me know by leaving a comment below. ~Scott]

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Location based marketing (“LBM”) is taking social media and transforming it from a mushy concept to a real tool to drive revenue in your small business.

LBM is creating cost effective ways for smart business people to use social media to increase their sales. The disruptive nature of this technology allows business owners to increase real and measurable foot traffic to their stores and quantify the results of their social media campaign.

In order to take advantage of the huge opportunities location based marketing provides, there are a few key apps that every small business interested in LBM should keep in their marketing arsenal.

You don’t need all of these to run a successful LBM campaign, but each one is helpful in its own right and can help strengthen your LBM campaign in one way or another. Here is a quick rundown of the basic apps that you need to know (and use) to be successful with location based marketing.

Foursquare – This is a no brainer. Foursquare is the market leader in location based services and one of the big names of LBM. Foursquare is free to use and set up for your business. Foursquare also has the largest established user base of any mainstream location based service.

Gowalla Another strong contender in the LBM space, Gowalla also has a substantial user base and offers a “city pages” where you can feature specials and deals for customers to browse online, a great way to showcase your offers to new and perspective customers.

Facebook – Facebook is involved directly in the LBM space with Facebook Places, which allows you to set up a a location page for your business. Facebook Deals is a new Facebook platform that lets you offer specials and reward programs to customers. Facebook’s Fanpage is also a great way to keep your fans updated about your latest specials. All around, Facebook is an excellent tool for building and strengthening your fan base and ultimately your sales.

SCVNGR SCVNGR is a smaller up and coming location based service. With the help of some recent VC investments and a big deal with a major consumer brand, SCVNGR has definitely put itself on the map. Given the lack of users, its hard to get as much traction, but keep an eye on this service.

Geotoko – Geotoko is a third party LBM platform that allows you to monitor your location based marketing campaign across multiple locations and platforms. With an easy to use and sleek interface, Geotoko is a great way to manage your LBM campaign in one place. This service does cost money so keep that in mind.

Place Punch – Place Punch is similar to Geotoko and offers another platform to monitor your LBM campaign from one place – the software isn’t quite as sleek but its a little cheaper than Geotoko. Both services offer a free trail so give them a shot.

Twitter – Twitter doesn’t have a specific location based component that lets you offer deals to customers, but its such a powerful platform for customer engagement and PR that it needs to be integrated into any successful LBM campaign. You can use twitter to broadcast your LBM campaigns to customers and generate buzz about your latest check-in special.

What are you waiting for? Start learning more about these great software tools right now and get your LBM campaign off the ground. This could be the opportunity to make your small business as successful as it can be. You can get these campaigns set up in no time.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. Visit his blog http://www.LBMGuru.com to learn more about location based marketing and get the latest updates. Matt also offers tips and strategies for using location based marketing to grow your business with a free how-to guide you can download right now at: http://www.locationbasedmarketing.biz.

(C) Copyright – Matt Bodnar. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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FourSquare Marketing – Making Location Based Marketing Part of Your Business Campaign

Foursquare and location-based marketing

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[Editor’s note: Foursquare has recently announced a series of merchant tools that are designed to help create promotions and incentives for increasing foot traffic to merchant locations. Those tools are just now being released and I will be reporting on them as they become available. In the mean time, the following article examines a few ways in which the local merchant, or niche marketer, can leverage Fourquare to bring more people to your business location. ~Scott]

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Many people might have read that the location-based services are going to explode big during 2011. So, the challenge now is to find a way to convert the excitement of a new craze into something helpful to generate data that we can evaluate and then act on. This brief guide was prepared to highlight how you can utilize FourSquare Marketing in your 2011 campaign.

Foursquare is really a location-based game which asks gamers to utilize their mobile phone to check-in at any locations they go to during the day. The users get points whenever they check-in and will be able to share these points with friends who they are connected to on Foursquare and also their Twitter and Facebook accounts. As soon as players complete specific tasks on Foursquare, these people will be awarded with badges. When player checks in the most for certain location then this will ranked them as the mayor for that place, which means that their user profile name and picture will be shown to everybody who checks in at that place.

How to use Foursquare

Offer promotions and discounts to individuals who check-in! When you offer discount codes to people who check out your company or perhaps a location nearby this will generate more business This is actually an inexpensive way to get customers.

Look for your brand supporters

Once individuals check in they can leave comments about their location. Check out these comments in order to get a genuine feedback about how users see your brand. Foursquare offers location owners lots of information about check-ins associated with their company.

Reward Loyalty

A good example of this is when Starbucks rewarded the mayors for each branch with the opportunity to receive $1 off coffee daily. In addition to getting a lot of media coverage, the campaign incentivized individuals to check out Starbucks with the hope of becoming the subsequent mayor, therefore escalating the amount of mentions which appeared in news feeds and also increasing communication with the brand.

Connect with complimentary brand names

In case you own a product, you could offer special samples or versions to anyone who checks-in at certain locations. For instance, if you are promoting moisturizer for men, you could offer free samples at specific hair salons or gyms. By doing this, you are increasing product awareness amongst your target market.

MobileMarketingUSA.org is a trusted online source for the mobile Web and location based marketing strategies for local businesses. The small business owner is just starting to hear about Foursquare marketing. As a local business owner you can get the jump on the competition in your community by utilizing the new and exciting mobile marketing strategies starting with the creation of a mobile friendly website. Visit us today at http://mobilemarketingusa.org and learn about the best mobile techniques you need to implement to connect with the local mobile users.

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70 Percent Of Local Businesses Use Facebook For Marketing

Niche Marketing and Facebook

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Strapped for time and cash, small local businesses are increasingly turning to free and low-cost social media tools for their marketing efforts. Not surprisingly, the world’s biggest social networking site tops of the list of preferred tools.

Seventy percent of local businesses use Facebook for marketing, according to a new report from Merchant Circle, a network of U.S. local business owners. This represents a 20% increase over the previous year.

The report notes that for the first time, Facebook is being used more than Google by local businesses for online marketing.

Facebook also seems to have an advantage in the location check-in space, with 32% of small businesses saying they use the feature, compared with just 9% who have tried Foursquare.

This new data comes just as ChompOn, a group buying site, revealed its own data showing that Facebook updates are three times more effective than tweets when it comes to getting consumers to make purhcases online.

Nearly 40% of respondents in the Merchant Circle survey said they used Twitter for marketing, putting the microblogging site behind Facebook and Google.

The increased use of social marketing by small businesses should come as no surprise, considering the massive popular adoption of social networks and the low – often nonexistent – costs of using them. Web marketing companies in general have also been courting local businesses, about 51% of whom say that they’re cold-called about online marketing services at least once per week.

The Merchant Circle survey is based on a random sample of 8,456 small business business owners in the United States.

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How to Employ Your Facebook Marketing Strategy With Other Social Media to Attract Social Consumers

Marketing Strategy using Facebook

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[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article focuses on using Facebook in concert with other social media to drive traffic to your home site. As its dominance increases, Facebook is a social media site that shouldn’t be overlooked. ~Scott]

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In this article I am continuing to focus on Facebook as a powerful and dynamic marketing tool. Buzz all over the World Wide Web reflects that Google traffic is drying up. It is not the cash-cow that it was five-years-ago or even a year-ago. Where will it be in another year? Of course no one knows that for sure, but wisdom dictates that if Google traffic has been your bread and butter in business, then it might be a good idea to search out other ways to generate traffic for your business.

Buzz on the World Wide Web also reveals Facebook as the rising star in arena of marketing and lead generation. That makes an awful lot of sense when you consider that all consumers are people. The fact is more people are hanging out on Facebook for longer time periods than any other social media site today. People are also setting marketing and buying trends on Facebook. Consider these statistics:

  • People spend over 700 billion moments on Facebook every month
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content ( such as articles, photos, links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) are shared on Facebook every month
  • The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups, or events
  • 150 million people access Facebook through external websites every month
  • More than 150 million are accessing Facebook through their mobile devices every month and are considered to be twice as active on Facebook as the average user.

With statistics like that and with the economy in the condition that it is currently in, it is not surprising that major corporations such as Starbucks, iTunes, Soft Drink Companies, and more, all have a presence on and a strategy for marketing on Facebook. My question to you the marketer is, do you have a strategy to create and employ a Social Marketing Plan to attract the social consumer?

Whether you do or do not have one yet, you must consider employing Facebook in concert with other social media sites such as Twitter, Linked-In, Word Press Blog, and YouTube. I say this because for the social consumer, everything begins with a search. When they type in their search, it should be your goal to show up everywhere they go on the web. After the social consumer types in a search, they read articles, reviews, and public announcements. They search blogs to find someone who is talking about the product that they intend to buy. They review videos and demonstrations of the product that they are searching for and they do comparisons of different brands and different companies that promote them.

How well you do in the social consumer’s search and review process will produce social currency for you on Facebook and other Social Media. According to Brian Solis, social currency is equal to a favorable comment or someone hitting the Like Button on your Facebook, YouTube site or your Blog. Reputation, trust, and relationships are earned when people are attracted to your promotion, product, or price. Your ability to excel in this process will earn you the reputation and status that you deserve. When you attract a following on Facebook you will develop exponential success. This true because the people you attract who want to hear what you are going to say next, have attracted people themselves who are waiting to hear what they say, what they think, and what they recommend. It is a marketer’s dream, it is free, and it is powerful.

The bottom-line of this article is that the current marketing trend is moving more and more towards Social Media in general and Facebook in particular. If you want a piece of the action, now is the time to start developing and employing your marketing strategies for Facebook and other Social Media. No one knows what the power of Facebook will be a year from now. We do know that today it is huge and it shows no sign of slowing down. Let the reader understand!

Are you struggling with creating, developing, or employing a social media? If so check out my resource block below. I am here to help you move forward with your marketing plan.

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Lindy Diffenbaugh is a Mental Health Therapist and Life Coach by Profession. She has followed the trend of Internet Marketing and the Home Base Business in order to help others move forward and get beyond the perils of the current economic threat in our nation, to a place of personal and economic strength. For more information on how Lindy can help you prosper, even in a down economy, visit, http://www.LindyzBiz.com.

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Social Media Benefits Niche Marketing

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Social media sites are quickly becoming powerful tools for the niche marketer. Facebook has recently announced reaching 500 million users. YouTube is now streaming two billion videos a day. Twitter is expanding at a faster and faster clip.

These, and dozens of other social media sites, have turned the social media experience into a boon for the savvy niche marketer. How? Each of these social media sites have “search function” capability. This allows marketers to focus and follow conversations within their niches.

Keeping current on the latest trends, releases, and topics is powerful in itself. But, the real power lies n the niche marketer’s ability to interact, to comment, and to respond to the stream of information in which they are competing. This gives the astute niche marketer the edge by creating opportunities to be seen and heard by prospects.

If managed correctly, the niche marketer can be viewed as an authority, or expert, in their chose field, and this positioning can drive traffic back to a home page.

What does all of this mean for you? Quite simply, if you are not engaging in social media to help sell your products and services, you are leaving lots of money on the table.

Today’s tip: figure out who your target market is and use social media to connect with them.


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Social Media Revolution

Social Media Revolution: Is social media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution? This video details out social media facts and figures that are hard to ignore. This video is produced by the author of Socialnomics.

Niche Marketing: Finding Hot Markets

NicheTrends.net If you’re stuck trying to find niche ideas for your niche marketing, here are some free tools that I use to find hot trends that may help you as well. You can also download a free report of the hottest niche marketing trends of 2008 a…

Niche Marketing: Niche Market Research

NicheTrends.net The key to niche market research is finding the needs of your target market. Watch over my shoulder as I dive into market research for a niche. Need more ideas? Download a free report on hot niche trends on http

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Time to Embrace Social Media

Example of Facebook Fan Page.

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What do Starbucks, Sports Authority, and Jack in the Box all have in common? They all are successful, national brands. They also have recently embraced social media as part of their marketing campaigns.

Starbucks and Sports Authority are developing campaigns using “location based” media (such as Foursquare.com), and Jack in the Box has developed a “fan page” on Facebook where they can communicate their latest promotions via their fan base.

Hundreds of businesses, both large and small, are following suit.

Whether you publish a blog, or have a “brick and mortar” retail location, you can no longer afford to ignore social media and it’s power to both create a community of followers, and nudge those followers to your blog or store.

But, with the dozens of social media sites popping up, where do you start? My recommendation is to visit several of the better known sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Digg and StumbleUpon) and see which ones “fit” your personal style.

For instance, if you are interested in bookmarking sites in your industry, consider the social bookmarking sites (like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller).

If writing short posts is more in tune with your lifestyle (called “micro-blogging”), then consider Twitter.

If you just want to jump in with both feet – and mix it up with 400 million of your closest “friends” – then Facebook might be the place for you.

In any case, get in the pool and start paddling around. You’ll find that the water is just fine.

Once you’ve settled on a small list of social media sites that interest you, set up an account with each and begin posting; post about yourself, but also post about your industry and your business.

One word of caution here: don’t get into social media sites thinking that you are going to get very far by selling your products and services – that will come later. Simply become part of the conversation and and listen for frustrations and “pain points’. Offer advice. Point people towards solutions that you have found.  Be seen as an expert. Lead the conversation. If you have something useful to say, people will start looking forward to your posts, and then will want to learn more by stopping by your blog or store.

So, you’re now ready to take your first step. It is a good step to take. In future posts I’ll explore more of the social media sites, along with some tips and tricks for  building a loyal following.


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Social Media in Plain English

commoncraft.com A simple story that illustrates the forces shaping social media. This video comes in an unbranded “presentation quality” version that can be licensed for use in the workplace. http

What is Social Media?

chris.pirillo.com – Blake Cahill recently interviewed me, and I thought you might find my answers somewhat interesting. If you wanna know what I care about most, let me lay it on the line… and please post a video response with your own take on Soci…

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Facebook and Twitter as Search Engines

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By Scott Spooner

When you think of search engines, what names come to mind? if you are like most people, you’ll probably come up with some combination of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. If you’ve been on the Net for a while, you might also think of Alta Vista, Baidu, Ask, and dozens of others.

But let me ask you: did Facebook or Twitter come to mind?

Most netizens associate Facebook with social networking, and Twitter with micro-blogging. But few realize that both Facebook and Twitter are also up and coming search engines, as both offer searchable keyword databases.

With active Facebook members now exceeding 400 million, and active Twitter members now exceeding 100 million, the respective search databases are enormous.

Add to this Facebook’s pay-per-click ad network (with rumors that Twitter will be following suit with their own paid advertising), and you have a potent combination for both demographic/geographic keyword research and targeted advertising opportunities.

If you are an on-line marketer who is looking to build traffic and reach your target audience, then don’t overlook Facebook and Twitter when it comes to search.

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