Times are changing fast, and with social media evolving every day, so are the people using the social networks. According to www.MobiThinking.com, 77% of the world’s population is using a smart phone and 8 TRILLION text messages will be sent before the end of 2011. And those numbers will definitely double by 2014. With the constant demand for usage, most web-based social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Yelp have even switched their sense of comfort up to mobile territory.
When it comes to mobile social networks, no one has more of an influence on their audience than Foursquare, though. In such a short period of time they have acquired over 7 million active users. Foursquare is essentially retail and restaurant reviews, friend finders, and a city guide–all mixed into one. Users check-in using the application, which then updates their other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter “if selected to do so.” Users earn points and badges and become mayors using this real life Sim City mobile application. This had a tremendous influence on that users’ followers and friends, which not only encourages repeat business but is also a great form of word of mouth marketing. (Master it HERE!)There are several others, but my personal fave is the Austin, Texas-based company, Gowalla.
Any small business can learn to leverage these mobile social networks and are are a few useful tips to implement right away:
1- Visit www.FourSquare.com and register your business and yourself for an account. Get familiar with the tabs and buttons; there’s nothing worse than signing up for another social network and not becoming familiar with the interface and functionality.
2- Add your company to Google Places, Yahoo Places and Yelp. By doing this, you will be allowing people searching for your business on mobile devices to actually find your place of business. Doing this is absolutely free, so it should totally make sense. It also gives current customers a way to leave reviews for potential guests and customers.
3- Head on over to the Foursquare Business Page and Gowalla to claim your place of business. Browse around and see how other businesses are using the social platform for promotions and incentives to keep customers coming in and suggest your business to their friends and family. Foursquare will send you a clinger, which is a cool removable decals for your company’s front window or door to let people know your place of business is available for checking in. Foursquare will give you stats on your customers such as:
-Total Daily Check-ins
– Your Most Frequent Visitors
– Your Most Recent Visitors
– What Time of Day People Check In
– Gender Breakdown of Your Customers
4- Once your company is all set up on these social networks, feel free to encourage friends and family to check in using these sites, and give them a reason to leave reviews and feedback. Theres nothing better than shopping somewhere and getting something free because I left a review.
5- Lots of businesses will purchase a TV just to show off and promote a live stream of people checking in, the things they are saying, and who they are checking in with. We used to use a whiteboard and show our top 10 check-ins and would offer them discounts on products. Use these social networks like you would any old loyalty punch card.
For more information on reaching college students give us a call! We look forward to speaking with you! 512.480.0893