The Next Social Media Trend: Geolocation and its Business Application.

By Johanna Stutz

Consider for a moment the speed at which the tech industry evolves. If you are not part of the newest “thing”, then you are behind in your online marketing potential.
The most difficult part of following these trends in not identifying them, but leveraging them for business.

Let us consider the new attention to geolocation sharing sites such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Both sites use GPS to verify their uses location to their “check-in.” Both are claiming tens-of-thousands of new users weekly.

Often referred to as location-based social networking, these sites build off of the use of smartphones, status updates and connecting with people you know by highlighting your current location.

But how do you leverage this behavior in the business world?

Option 1: Your Website

WordPress has already built an inventory of plugins and widgets that can identify the geolocation of the visitors of your site. Web content or ads can be altered depending on the region, city or neighborhood of each viewer.

Option 2: Email Marketing

Automatically segment your email mailing list into geolocation groups and tailor marketing campaigns to the needs of these different groups. How? Through Mail Chimp WordPress plugin.

Option 3: Play the Game

The most enticing aspect of joining these Geolocation sites is the users ability to turn real life into a game. Users earn “badges” for checking-in to specific locations or types of location numerous times. Some businesses give out discounts and other rewards to the current most-frequent visitor (mayor) or individual who have reached a minimum required number. As a participating business you gain valuable information on the demographics of these individuals who have digitally confirmed to the world that they visit your place of business.

There are other possible applications for location-sharing –a travel blog comes to mind.
However, successful marketing with this new service, as with any other, requires that you make it work for your needs.