On Halloween you expect to see costumes, candy, spooky decorations and….bacon?! Yes you read that correctly. At this morning’s Minneapolis and St. Paul Social Media Breakfast there was bacon. And bacon costumes. Several of the TopRank team opted for their own unique costumes like Gumby, Wayne (from Wayne’s World), a hunter, and Steve Jobs.
With the surge in apps with location-enabled features—Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and Twitter to name a few—it’s no surprise that this month’s breakfast delved into best practices for incorporating location-based (or location-aware) apps a part of your social media strategy. Presenter Christopher Lower of Sterling Cross Communications used case studies & success stories to offer advice to attendees. Here are 16 key takeaways our team gleaned from the presentation:
1. Location based marketing is not simply checking-in on foursquare. Due to the sensitive nature of some services (e.g. medical related services), marketers can be more effective at driving engagement if they use their physical environment (e.g. waiting room) to interact with their target audience.
2. Robots are coming! ‘Eye-See-You’ mannequins which actually ‘see’ shoppers and can provide recommendations are already ‘working’ in select malls in Canada. So look twice next time you stroll through a department store.
3. The first ever swarm badge unlocked in Minnesota was at SMBMSP #24 – Social Media & Retail at the Rick Bronsen Comedy Gallery at the MOA.
4. Foursquare was far from the first location-based social app but it has been the most successful so far with over 40 million users worldwide and 4.5 billion check-ins.
5. Augmented reality is the next trending technology, already demonstrated with apps like Layar and Google Glass. As the technology becomes more available and user-friendly, our mobile devices will simply become an extension of ourselves.
6. Search in Foursquare differs from regular Google or Yelp services, in that everyone gets different results based on their previous check-ins. There’s nothing static about it.
7. When mobile users visit a standard site (non-mobile, no responsive design) and has a negative experience, 61% never come back and 40% go to a competitor’s site. In other words, more businesses should be prioritizing mobile-friendly sites.
8. Are QR codes dead? Absolutely not – especially among 40 – 60 year olds, which is surprising. Marketers who have taken QR codes out of their arsenal should consider putting them back in. You can also get creative by rotating the back end to deliver a new customer experience each time a QR code is scanned.
9. Making sure you interact well and in relevant ways with your customers without creeping them out is key. Personalizing deals can help encourage them to make a purchase they’ll enjoy.
10. My generation is a little lost: only 14% of the American population knows what the yellow pages are, only 1% uses it to find businesses….and people take selfies at funerals.
11. Retailers are making it a point to adapt to the world we live in – with more and more locations adding wi-fi capabilities in-store. This has not fared as well for retailer Barnes & Noble, where they have become a showcase for customers to view the book in-person, then check major online retailers such as Amazon for cheaper prices.
12. It’s not just phones – social interaction and check-ins are now possible with Google Glass and Samsung Galaxy Gear Watches – soon we may see contacts (that go IN YOUR EYE) that are vision-responsive and in addition, our clothing could be capable of knowing where we are and how we’re feeling!
13. Did you know that Foursquare has robust back-end analytics? Use Foursquare to learn who your most valuable customers are, their favorite products and what your peak business hours are.
14. Remember in Minority Report when Tom Cruise walks into the Gap and the robert salesperson recommends products for him based his eye-scan? Yeah, that’s now a real thing with mannequins programmed to do facial scans.
15. Location based apps like foursquare also serve as valuable search engines. 94% of websites are not mobile friendly. If a business does not have a mobile friendly website then they must leverage mobile apps in order to be found from a mobile device.
16. QR codes are immensely popular with the 40-60 year old demographic. So although marketers may be tired of talking about QR codes, consumers are very interested. Mix up the types of content delivered via a QR code scan in order to keep consumers scanning. The potential for an incentive, like a discount, can be a great way to drive sales in the hospitality industry.
Essentially there are a few unique things location-based media can bring your business:
- Customer service opportunities that allow you to go above and beyond expectations and provide customers with deals (and experiences) they’ll use, remember, and rave about online
- Deep backend analytics to help you schedule happy hours, promotions, and maintain (or remove) items from your product list
A big thank you to Christopher Lower and the audience members who asked such intriguing questions! As well as Mykl Roventine and the Social Media Breakfast MSP volunteers & sponsors.
How have you used location-based social media to interact with customers?