Offered Local Blog

Yo dawg, we heard you liked foursquare, so we put some foursquare in your Twitter

Posted by Ed Loessi on June 9, 2011

Cool news, tweeps: you remember how Twitter launched the awesome #newTwitter, with the detail panes so you got a lot more context around all the links in your tweetstream? Well, now foursquare check-ins get the royal tweetment. When you tweet your check-in, the tweet’s details will now include the photo,…

via Yo dawg, we heard you liked foursquare, so we put some foursquare in your Twitter.

OfferedLocal’s Take: It is clear that your options in location based marketing and social media marketing are all becoming more and more connected and you don’t want to be caught on the outside when it comes to taking advantage of these two strategies.

You can see below a nice example of a local pizza shop near our office, complete with the map, number of check-ins etc.  What this shows is that Pino’s has a presence, in the mind of the locals (I used to be the mayor and then got bumped, but I will get it back!). I have also seen panes from local businesses that had virtually no information in them because the businesses have not actively promoted to their customers to check-in at their locations and comment or post pictures, which is not good.

These view panes are just another way to show your business is active and out there in the world, so you really need to step up the efforts and get those check-ins, pictures and comments by your customers to fill out your online presence.  You might want to consider running check-in deals that encourage shout outs and pictures as an incentive to get a deal and that way you can fill out that extra information.  Anything that you can do to promote the brand whether it be a restaurant or retail store or other type of business is a good thing and there are more and more options coming.

location based marketing foursquare on twitter

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The state of mobile marketing – What are you going to do about it?

Posted by Ed Loessi on March 25, 2011

Mashable had a good article titled “Mobile by the Numbers” which lays out the groundwork for some interesting opportunities in location based marketing and mobile marketing strategies.

“Mobile is a rapidly developing sector. According to some projections, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop usage before 2015. In preparation, companies are developing new mobile commerce platforms, strategies, and marketing efforts.”

OfferedLocal’s Take:

In the above article and infographic, well worth checking out, there were several things that really stood out:

  • 50% of all local searches are performed on mobile devices
  • 91% of mobile internet access is to socialize
  • 33% of Facebook‘s users use Facebook Mobile
  • 59% of Twitter‘s users us Twitter Mobile

So, what does this mean to someone who is trying to develop a marketing strategy for their business, in particular a local, physical location based business like a restaurant, salon or hotel?

Firstly, marketing today is all about capturing the local customer that is using a mobile device.  The evidence is pretty clear that if your business is in a physical location then you need foot traffic and if you want foot traffic then you need to make it easy for people to find you on a local basis.  This means you need to claim your spots on tools like Facebook Places and Google Places and provide as much information about your business as possible so that people searching can find you and say “Hey that sounds like just the place I want to go to”.

Next, it is recognizing that the majority of your current and potential customers are social and social people like offers, so you need to think about ways to entice customers to your location.  There of course has been lots of time devoted to discounts, in particular those of coupon giant Groupon, but remember it’s not always about huge discounts, there is nothing wrong with the good old Two-For-Tuesday promotion or the loyalty approach of rewarding return shoppers, these types of promotions have worked for decades and will continue to do so long after the bargain hunting crazy has slowed down.

Finally, the biggest points of distribution, aside from your email database, will be the two leaders in social media Facebook and Twitter and for our purposes we would throw in foursquare and Google places, two relatively new but rapidly growing options.  So, you need to get active in those areas and think of these tools as points of distribution in your overall marketing as well as mobile marketing plans.

In the end there is a simple formula for location based marketing that combines social media and mobile marketing options and the formula looks like this:

Mobile information availability + useful offers, distributed across social media channels = increased foot traffic and potential sales

If you focus your marketing on this formula and learn what offers your customers respond to, then you will be well on your way to making a success out of your mobile marketing plans and capturing the local lead as mobile activities continue to grow and ultimately dominate the market.

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What is next and yet to be achieved in location based social networking?

Posted by Ed Loessi on February 23, 2011

There is a good question on Quora What is next and yet to be achieved in location based social networking?

Some of the top answers in our opinion are:

  • Capturing people’s intent about where they’re planning to go.
  • Customized tips and recommendations that are based on a users history of check-ins and tips

From our perspective one of the biggest yet to be achieved in location based marketing and social media marketing are tools that make it easier for the actual businesses to be able to manage the interactions between the location based platforms like foursquare and Gowolla and the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

At present there are a huge number of options for people to interact with a business, which of course means that a business has to then adopt a whole range of individual services to respond. As our regular readers know, we are currently working on that problem by creating a product that lets businesses create a single offer and then tailor and distribute it across various social networks, bringing a bit more context to the offer based on the channel and making it easier for a business to manage any number of channels all at one time.

You can check out the rest of the answers to this question on Quora at the link below:

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Is Facebook Part Of Your Online Marketing Plans For 2011?

Posted by Ed Loessi on February 22, 2011

Facebook leverages marketing for corporate brands more effectively than Twitter, reveals a group buying startup, ChompOn, after comparing the value of posting on Facebook with its counterpart on Twitter. According to ChompOn’s report, a Facebook share fetches $14, which is nearly three times the value of a tweet and a Facebook…

via Is Facebook Part Of Your Online Marketing Plans For 2011?.

OfferedLocal’s Take:

There is some great information in the above post.  Given the difference in social approaches between Facebook and Twitter it is no wonder there is such a difference in the two services.

For the most part Facebook allows you to cultivate a deeper relationship with your friends where as Twitter is much more for sharing snippets of information.  Overtime the Facebook relationships end up being much stronger because of the relationship building.

So what does that have to do with creating more value from a share versus a tweet?

Quite simply when it comes to making purchases we all rely on references and reviews by people we have relationships with and trust for any number of reasons.  The stronger the relationship, the stronger the trust and the more likely a reference or review will result in a transaction somewhere else in the social chain, the social chain hopefully being your business.

For businesses developing location based marketing or social media marketing plans it is important to build both parts of the social channel but recognize that larger efforts placed in Facebook will probably bring you better results over time for your marketing efforts.

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Early indications are that social people like offers

Posted by Ed Loessi on February 20, 2011

Whenever you are starting a new company or building a new product you are generally driven by the need to address a particular issue in the marketplace.  In many cases it starts with a problem that you have or one that you discover as you are working with clients in a different area.  As you begin to look into the issues you read blog posts, check news stories and look at related products to determine if the problem is real, big and potentially within your realm to solve, especially if you are going to be doing it as a start-up company.

Sometimes the time between the idea gelling and the product marketing/sales activities kicking off can be 6 months maybe even more and you have had to put into words many times what it is you believe and what it is you are doing.  This process tosses out the incorrect ideas and assumptions and gives you a whole lot of practice coming up with what it is you are really doing and who you are doing it for.

It’s at this point that I love to crank out a Wordle, a cool form of word visualization that brings out common ideas from mounds of text.  Above I have inserted the current Wordle for OfferedLocal based on a few writings and blog posts that have been done while we were getting the idea, company and product up and running.

So, what we believe we are doing is creating a platform for location based marketing which brings together social media marketing and to some extent mobile marketing, since most people are using their phones as if they were a computer.

In looking at what we have written about we can see a slightly different pattern emerging with prominent words such as; Social, People, Offers and Marketing, hence the catchy blog title “Social People Like Offers”.  I like to say Wordles don’t lie, which is really to say that there are key aspects of related writing that are sometimes lost until you visualize them correctly.

So, what does this have to do with location based social medial marketing?  Well, it points out that if you are a marketer, you need to remember that this is currently all about social people and their desire to get something in return for their engagement with your company.

There have been a few articles already, particular Mashable’sVirgin America Rewards Checkins with Frequent Flyer Points – that have highlighted this desire and some of the early promotions that are addressing this desire:

“Virgin America, for instance, is using the platform to offer application users frequent flyer points in exchange for their checkins

“Some other top-notch rewards include 10% off rentals from Avis, 50 bonus points for checkins at Doubletree, Quality Inn, Comfort Suites and Cambria Suites hotels”

Of course this isn’t just for big companies, if you are a local restaurant doing your own promotional marketing or a  local retail store managing your social media marketing you need to not only provide people with info about your venue or products but give them something for being in the know or checking into your location.  It can be something as simple as reminding them about your midweek dining specials (because who wants to cook on a Wednesday) or giving them advance notice about an upcoming sale, or in both of these cases creating offers that are only for this group of people, making it really exclusive.

As we continue building out our product and business I will run all of our blogging and marketing material through the Wordle process to see what interesting things pop up, does our view on location based marketing or social media marketing change or are we seeing variations on ideas emerge from within the cloud of words being written on the subject?

So, for now, social people like offers, remember that!

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Why do people ‘check in’ using Location-Based Social Networks? What is their motivation?

Posted by Ed Loessi on February 16, 2011

Location based social media marketing

There is a great question posed on Quora: Why do people ‘check in’ using Location-Based Social Networks? What is their motivation?

Some of the top answers in my opinion are:

“To record where they have been and build a map of the places they frequent, it’s another piece of content about yourself you can record and look back on, like photos or tweets.”

“To gain deals – I think right now this is the main reason people check in. While I mentioned I won’t usually let my network know I’m at my local coffee shop, I may be motivated if there’s a perk to checking in (ex free pastry with 3 check-ins)”

At present I think there are two groups of people; first are those that are looking to be social and let people know where they are and where they have been, for them it’s a bit of a game. The second group of people are looking for a deal of some sorts, hoping that if they engage they will get something out of it; free something, extra discount etc.

The are two other parts to this question as well; when/how do people check-in to receive a location based marketing offer and via what channel(s) do they receive these offers? and which channel can deliver a more powerful offer?

In services like foursquare the check-in is supposed to be when they are physically at the location, typical mobile marketing example, but even this is changing (see the Super Bowl where you could check-in from your couch) in other situations like those used in social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter etc.) the offers may come to you on your phone and you save them until you actually reach the location (in my opinion the far more likely circumstance going forward).

The channel is also important, in foursquare as an example you can be going by a location and find it on foursquare and check-in without having previously had a relationship with the retailer or restaurant owner, whereas in the case of an offer distributed via a social network where you follow that brand or business you find that offer in your social stream and that offer comes with the power of a relationship, potentially making that a more powerful offer.

In the end, it’s definitely still evolving and a lot will depend on how the businesses get involved and how businesses mange their location based marketing plans.  Check out the rest of the answers here on Quora:

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So, what are we up to?

Posted by Ed Loessi on February 7, 2011

Is it location-based marketing, social media marketing or mobile marketing?

Well, yes in fact it is all of these in one form or another.  In short we are focused on helping business people who have physical locations (retail stores, restaurants, bars/pubs/clubs, salons etc.) become better marketers when it comes to making offers and promotions that drive people in the doors of their business and making purchases.

Our approach is to make it simple to create an offer or a promotion and then to distribute that across social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as well as check-in services like foursquare.  These offers are then accessible by existing customers and potential customers online or via their mobile phones making it easy to alert people to a special deal or to simply remind them to stop in and have dinner, or get their hair cut or pick up something for their children or pets.

Our approach is not only to make it simple to make offers but to also create a pathway for customers to become more engaged with your business.  The idea is to connect more people in more ways to your business, beginning initially with check-ins, moving on to your social media programs and then ultimately into your email marketing and customer database systems where your marketing can be even more effective.

So why is this so important?  Let’s go over a quick example; if you are actively engaged with social media and check-in programs today, this is a typical process that you may go through to make a simple offer to customers:

  • Create the offer, say a Two for Tuesday dinner special
  • Login to Facebook and put that offer and links into your status box
  • Login to Twitter and put that offer and links into your status box, adjusting down for the 140 character limit
  • Login to foursquare, create the offer
  • Check back to see how the offer performs by logging into each account again and viewing the performance
  • Compiling the information in a spreadsheet so that you can compare and share the performance of the offers with others

Whew! that’s a lot of work.  What we want to do is have you login once, create the offers all at the same time and then click a button and out go the offers.  In short, it has to be simpler to make great offers.  We then want to collect all of the data and bring that back to you so that you can easily compare the performance across the various applications that you are using.

So, we welcome you to OfferedLocal and we look forward to helping you become the best offer and promotional marketers in the world.  Right now we are taking pre-registrations for our upcoming beta release, so sign up quickly as we will only be selecting a few companies to get started with and their will be long-term benefits with being one of our first customers.


The team at OfferedLocal

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