These days, a growing number of people use their mobile phones for everything from checking email to browsing for local hotspots. This constant connectivity allows for an unprecedented amount of communication between users, communication that your small business can take advantage of in the form of local mobile marketing.
Every business owner should implement local mobile marketing into their local internet marketing plan. It is a highly effective marketing strategy to attract new customers and increase loyalty with your existing customers.
The Mobile Consumer
The use of local mobile marketing applications has grown over 40% in recent years. Mobile browser use has grown over 20%. This shows a trend towards people seeking information when they’re away from their computers. Advancing mobile phone and “smart phone” technologies support this trend, allowing users to access more data with mobile than ever before.
What Is Local Mobile Marketing?
Local mobile marketing means targeting consumers while they’re on the go. Though businesses do have success with local social media marketing, sms text message promotions or advertising on mobile websites, the rising trend of location-based services such as Foursquare and Facebook Places cannot be ignored. These services let users instantly tell friends where they are and what they’re doing.
Local Mobile Marketing Methods
Location-based services and mobile phone apps utilize the GPS geolocation technology available in many new phones. Both Foursquare and Facebook Places take advantage of this technology to pinpoint users’ locations.
Foursquare allows users to:
- “check in” to a location they are shopping at or visiting
- share experiences at or interesting features of a place (i.e., a favorite menu item)
- see if any friends using Foursquare are nearby
- earn badges for visiting certain types of places
- become “mayor” of a location by being the user to check in there most often
Facebook Places is a similar, but simpler service that allows for a great deal of social networking. Users can:
- tag the friends who are with them at a location, similar to tagging in photos
- utilize the “People Here Now” feature to find friends at a location or nearby
- read and post comments or feedback about a location
Making Local Mobile Marketing Work for You
Location-based services and mobile phone apps are an enormous opportunity to grow your business. Every user is a potential customer. Getting set up on Foursquare or Facebook Places is quick and easy, and you can begin utilizing the benefits the instant someone is near your business or “checks in” at your location.
Signing up for Foursquare only takes a few minutes. Once the site has confirmed you as the owner of your venue, you can:
- offer coupons and discounts to new customers
- give incentives to Foursquare “mayors,” encouraging repeat visits
- build a targeted marketing campaign based on user feedback
Adding or claiming your location on Facebook Places automatically creates a Facebook Page for your business. This allows users to “like” your business, post comments, and share your location with friends.
Local mobile marketing gives businesses access to a whole new advertising venue. With a little practice, mobile marketing can build a reputation for your business, bring in new customers, and encourage existing customers to return to your business and leave positive feedback accessible to a growing network of mobile consumers.