Social Goes Mobile: Part 2

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In regards to last week’s Part 1 of “Social Goes Mobile,” it’s evident that having an unlimited amount of news and information at your fingertips has dramatically changed both social behaviors and business practices.
But why should a business owner care? Caroline Melberg explains more of exactly what mobile social media offers.

“For a location-based business, these services allow you to offer specials and promotions targeted at your ideal clients  (see, Foursquare business).  When I log into Foursquare, I see specials that are offered at locations near me, giving your business added promotion.  When I check in at your place of business, I can leave tips for my friends. Now all of my friends see where I’m checking in and what my “tip” is about your business. In effect, I’m promoting your business – for free!” said Melberg.

Melberg sees this as a great tool for businesses. “As a business owner, you’ll have access to specific information about who is checking in at your business, what they like and don’t like, and other places they visit, which gives you the ability to tailor your marketing to your ideal audience in an unprecedented manner,” said Melberg.

Using social media as a business-marketing tool is one thing, but what else do individuals have to gain from supporting these businesses via mobile? Melberg explains, “When I use Foursquare, I can earn “badges” for checking-in and other activities.  If I check-in at the same place often enough, I can become the “mayor” of that location. Many businesses offer special discounts for the mayor of their business, and they promote these specials throughout all of their marketing.  This encourages my friends to try to “unseat” me as mayor – but to do that, they need to come visit your business.”

Just FYI, these services aren’t just for location-based businesses. The Wall Street Journal has created custom badges you can earn on Foursquare by checking-in to specific locations around New York.  Also, Twitter has recently launched location-based tweets, and rumors are plentiful that Facebook will launch it’s own version of a location-based service in conjunction with your personal profile on the Facebook site.

So what do you think about social going mobile? Do you use it just to help you make plans with friends? Or do you see it as a valuable business tool?

07.21.2010

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