The Niche Marketing Blog

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How Location Based Marketing Is Revolutionizing Social Media

Logo for Foursquare

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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Seven Applications Every Location Based Marketer Needs

Twitter and Location Based Marketing

Image via CrunchBase

[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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