The Niche Marketing Blog

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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 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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How To Add Value As a Social Media Marketer – One Easy Tip To Distinguish Yourself

Become a location based marketing expert

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[Editor’s note: Location based marketing services continue to be red hot. With the continuing soft economy, it is more important than ever for all marketers and business owners to see themselves as niche marketers. This is never more true than when it comes to smaller, local businesses; businesses that rely on local foot traffic to stay in business. Instead of focusing on the services themselves, this week’s guest article focuses on how to distinguish yourself as an expert in providing location based services to your local marketplace. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. ~Scott]

By Matt Bodnar

The increasing popularity of social media marketing and the explosion of traditional marketers and so-called “experts” pouring into the field has made it tougher for top notch social media marketers to distinguish themselves and rise above the fray. How do you bring real value to your clients and get a leg up in the highly competitive social media space?

The number one thing you can do to add value for your customers and most importantly distinguish yourself is to find a specialty or niche that you can deliver expert content to your clients in. The mainstream platforms are already saturated and its tough to carve out a meaningful niche. Everyone these days is an expert on Twitter, Facebook, and the other major platforms – it’s tough to find clients these days that you can offer a unique specialty to.

One of the new frontiers in social media marketing is location based marketing. Location based marketing presents the single best opportunity right now for social media marketers to become an expert in a cutting edge new area. Services like Foursquare and Gowalla are on the verge of going mainstream and offer great value for businesses if used properly.

There are very few social media experts right now who know anything about location based marketing and there is a real opportunity for forward thinking social media marketers to become experts in this new field before it becomes saturated.

Becoming an early expert gives you huge advantages over those who pile in after the service is already hot – think about people like Gary Vaynerchuck who pioneered some of the now-mainstream social media marketing tactics and became a leader in the industry.

Those who put in the focus and time now before location based marketing explodes will be the ones who ride the waves, and the profits, to the top.

How do you learn more? Go out and start using these services to get more familiar with them. Get Foursquare on your phone and try it out.

To learn how to apply location based marketing to a business and the proven tactics and strategies, the options are limited right now since this is such a new field. However, the leading guide on the market right now is “How To Use Location Based Marketing to Grow Your Business.” You can get the first two chapters for free at the bottom of this page.

So what are you waiting for? Go out there and become an expert now before the industry takes off. Location based marketing has a huge future and those who get in on the ground floor have the largest rewards to reap.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. Visit 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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Location Marketing – The Latest Small Business Tool

Location Based Marketing can pinpoint customers

Image by NOAA's National Ocean Service via Flickr

[Editor’s note:  Today’s guest article not only discusses the “how” of location based marketing, but also the “why”; that is, why should businesses embrace and use this technology. In today’s economy, both niche marketers and mass retailers need every edge they can get. Location based marketing is quickly becoming a “must have” tool that every marketer should learn and use. What do you think about location based marketing? Leave me a comment below. ~Scott]


The basic concept of location based marketing has been around for years but the internet, social media websites as well as ‘smart phones’, together are set to change it forever.

Simple yet brilliant phone applications such as Foursquare and Gowalla which rely on Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) have made it possible for business to communicate with their customers online. More commonly known social networks such as Facebook, Google Maps and Yelp too are catching up and helping make social media become an integral part of real world commerce.

Social networks and the so called ‘lo-so’ networks are an all new medium for Advertising and Marketing and the quicker do business comprehend them and adapt to take their advantages the better it is for them.

How does it all work?

Everything’s digital. Gone are the days when everyone kept a phonebook and a hefty copy of the Yellowpages directories, most of us today look for services and businesses online. Say it’s your first ever evening in San Francisco and the only thing in on your mind is ‘Sushi’. What do you do? You pull out your smart phone or switch on your laptop, visit a search engine website like Google and type “Sea Food in San Francisco” or perhaps even “Sushi in San Francisco”. Trust me, Google will let you in on thousands and thousands of results and is quite capable of leaving you all confused. What do you do? You click on the new Local Search Result Only feature. This would enable the search engine to provide you with results relevant to your physical location. You can then choose from a handful of restaurants, where you may relish your Sushi.

How does Local Marketing help Businesses?

Anyone on the streets, round the corner or even a mile away can, only with a couple of clicks on their ‘smart phones’, instantly find out about the services and goods your business offers. This new possibility naturally increases the on-foot traffic to your store and also encourages impulsive buying. Being published on online business directories allow anyone in the city to find your goods and services.

Local social media marketing is a form of direct marketing; your promotional material reaches out to real potential customers who are already making an effort to find you. Your promotional material is delivered electronically and on demand. It is, in comparison, an eco-friendly form of advertising as there is no hard copy paper wastage involved.

How do Businesses use Local Marketing?

Business register themselves on local marketing feature of search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing etc, and on Business directory websites such as yelp to gain online visibility. It’s important to fill the business profile on such websites carefully.

Some companies opt for professional search engine optimization (SEO) for their websites. The importance of (SEO) is only to rise in the near future for not only would the website require to be indexed properly so they may be found within the general internet top search engines but would soon also require to be found by physical, geographic, location as well.

Another way businesses are using social media and location based marketing is to engage with their customers. Applications like Twitter allow building an intimidate relationship with customers. They act as an online mouthpiece where a store may talk of a new product launch or an art gallery may speak of a special event.

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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]


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 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:

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

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Six Location Based Service Predictions for 2011

Location Based Marketing Services

Image by aJ GAZMEN ツ GucciBeaR via Flickr

[Editor’s note: OK, so maybe you’ve heard that location based marketing services (LBS) are gaining traction in terms of driving traffic to brick and mortar businesses. Maybe you’ve also heard that traditional marketing methods (e.g. yellow pages advertising, fliers, etc.) are losing ground to mobile applications (e.g. Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, etc.). So, where is all of this heading and, more important for the retailer or niche marketer, how do you get in front of the trend and convert all of this new technology into customers and increased sales? The following guest article focuses on six predictions for LBS in 2011 and beyond. What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below. ~Scott]


Here are six predictions for big changes in the location based services (“LBS”) space in 2011.

1. Location based services gain substantial ground – Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places will all see substantial user growth and more mainstream adoption as consumers start to see that these offer real value. Just like services such as Groupon that use social media to bring value to consumers, these services offer the same benefits. Soon we will see consumers start checking in with greater frequency.

2. Foursquare remains the clear leader – despite Facebook Places, Foursquare stays at the forefront of the LBS market. Privacy concerns are the main barrier for Facebook Places. Consumers identify Foursquare more with location and may not want their check-ins linked with their Facebook account. If someone checks in with Foursquare they don’t have to worry about that being broadcast all over their Facebook wall. This will play out being to Foursquare’s advantage.

3. Gowalla, SCVNGR, or another smaller LBS platform is acquired by a major technology company – one of these smaller platforms, combined with the larger infrastructure or user base of a firm like Google or Groupon, could pose a big threat in the LBS space. Smaller platforms are a better target as the acquiring firm doesn’t have to pay a premium for users (as they would with foursquare).

4. Location based marketing becomes a mainstream form of customer engagement – there is a very compelling value for businesses in using LBM through a platform like foursquare as a permission marketing asset. Once either the user base starts growing or businesses realize the potential of location based services, location based marketing will see a big boom.

5. There will be a growth in Third-Party location software – we are already seeing it with Flicksqr, Geotoko, Place Punch, and Placcess – but if Twitter is any indicator, location platforms will start to see a big proliferation of startups focused on using location platforms to engage customers and refining the location space from a business user’s perspective.

6. Digital wallets merge with location services – We will see a big boost in digital wallet technology and some form of that merging with LBS. Shopkick is already taking things in that direction and several cutting edge start-ups are working toward this goal as well.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. Visit his blog 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:

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

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Related Videos

Location Based Services meet Social Media

Presentation at “Locations and Beyond” Summit San Francisco, October 2010 music: “Where You Belong” by Faded Paper Figures & composed by Kael Alden images: Tokyo by OHASHI_Takashi San Francisco by Simon ChristenCopyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 …

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How To Use Twitter For Small Business Location Based Marketing

Twitter and Location Based Marketing

Image via CrunchBase

[Editor’s note: Niche marketers are always looking for ways to improve their marketing strategy and increase their market share. An effective location based marketing (LBM) strategy is one way to do this. Many LBM strategies focus on platforms like Foursquare, or Gowalla, to drive foot traffic to a retail location. But, how do you drive traffic to Foursquare and Gowalla? Consider Twitter. Yes, if used strategically, Twitter can be a powerful weapon for increasing leads and sales. Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment, below. ~Scott]


Twitter is a core piece of any social media marketing strategy. It makes sense for online markets to use Twitter for a variety of reasons, but why should a local small business, a shop or restaurant for example, use Twitter?

Twitter is a very strong platform for location based marketing. Foursquare or Gowalla would be considered “primary” location based marketing platforms, while Twitter is more of a secondary location based marketing program. However, Twitter can be a vital tool and take your LBM campaign to the next level.

Twitter builds on the idea of “permission marketing.” Twitter can be used to create a follower list of customers who are passionate about your brand and your business. This Twitter follower list can be used as a “permission asset” of customers who want to see what specials and deals you are offering. Once you build up a significant twitter following (that is a whole different article!) you can market to those customers using Twitter.

What can you do with Twitter to juice up your LBM campaign and make some sales? Here are a few suggestions to consider for building your Twitter base and using that to leverage your LBM campaign.

Tweet about one-time specials and deals available through other location based platforms – send out a tweet to your followers and let them know to come check-in and unlock your special.

Use Twitter to get new followers onto your LBM platform – get followers to sign up for Foursquare or Gowalla and come in to your store for specials, discounts and deals, once they are on the platform – you can offer them more specials in the future.

Offer check-in specials exclusively for your Twitter followers – this is a great way to reward your twitter followers and encourage more of your customers to join twitter – this creates a virtuous cycle where you get more followers on both twitter and your location based service of choice.

Give your customers a small bonus for becoming a follower on Twitter – 10% off or a free beer will do – something simple but meaningful- this creates a win-win situation for both you and your customer because you are both providing each other with something of value.

Advertise in your store – let customers know if they follow you on twitter they can get access to free deals and specials that you will only post on Twitter – this creates a great incentive to get your customers on the platform, once you start offering them specials and deals then you can drive concrete and measureable foot traffic into your venue using location based services like Foursquare.

Use Twitter as part of your arsenal and you can unlock the real strength of your LBM campaign. What are you waiting for? If you already have Twitter followers, this is even easier as you can start to monetize your follower base and use your followers to drive foot traffic and ultimately sales into your business.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. He 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:

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

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7 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Location Based Marketing

Location based marketing

Image via CrunchBase

[Editor’s note: Location based marketing services – like Foursquare, Loopt, and Gowalla – are gaining momentum as powerful promotion and incentive tools, helping both niche marketers and local businesses drive foot traffic and sales leads. The LBM providers are picking up on this trend by complementing their own services with promotion tools aimed at helping the merchant attract loyal customers. The following guest article takes a look at how to leverage these free LBM services to help increase leads, and build foot traffic for your business. ~Scott]


Location based marketing (LBM) is an immensely powerful tool for small business marketing. Here are 7 reasons why every small business should implement an LBM campaign.

1. Customer acquisition – location based marketing helps you reach out to new customers. You can offer deals or rewards for first time check-ins to encourage new visitors to your store. These customers can find your deals either by using location based services like foursquare, or by finding online deal listing like Gowalla city pages.

2. Reward loyal customers – location based marketing lets you reward your most loyal customers. You can choose to use mayor specials to reward your top customers with special goodies, or you can use repeat check-ins to reward customers with something similar to the Smoothie King punch card.

3. Monetize your social media presence – what are you going to do with all those fans on your restaurant’s Facebook page? LBM lets you drive those customers into your store by offering them specials or promotions – and its measurable because you can track check-ins and monitor all your LBM analytics.

4. Low Risk / High Reward – there is little to risk for setting up an LBM campaign, spending 15 minutes to set up foursquare and get your campaign going is your only real cost (other than the promotional items). So what if no one checks in for a few days? Even 1 or 2 sales extra sales would still make 15 minutes a worthwhile investment.

5. Free to use – Foursquare and Gowalla are both free to use for small businesses – there is no cost to set up your campaign. Do I really need to say more?

6. Differentiate yourself from your competitors – be the first of your competitors to get ahead of the trend. If you dominate the LBM space before anyone else then you will be the go-to spot and your brand will be associated with location based promotions in your customer’s mind.

7. Proven marketing methods – at the end of the day, none of these tactics are new or untested. Location based marketing takes the proven and successful tactics of coupons, customers loyalty cards, promotions, and discounts and moves them all onto a mobile platform in the social media space.

What are you waiting for? Go set up your location based marketing campaign today. There isn’t much to lose but it could really help your business grow sales and outmaneuver the competition.

Matt Bodnar is a restaurant entrepreneur with a passion for social media. Visit his blog 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:

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

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