Location Based Services For Local Business Promotion

Using Location Based Services allows businesses to reward customers who advertise their business on social media sites. LBS sites leverage social media and word of mouth to provide businesses with multiple mobile marketing opportunities.

By 2016, Survey Analytics predicts that Location Based Services spending will reach $10 billion dollars. LBS allows companies to deliver discounts and other offers at specific locations based on the location of a customer's mobile phone. LBS directory applications can provide information not only specific to a city or zip code but also specific to the street or intersection where the customer is located. Some common LBS applications include Foursquare, Facebook Places and Yelp.

Foursquare

How It Works: Foursquare allows people to check in at certain locations using their mobile device. When people check in at a particular place, they often share comments about that location so that their friends become familiar with their favorite places. When users check in, they will also find out which of their friends are nearby. Foursquare may also provide special offers and discounts to people who check in at a particular location.

How Businesses Benefit: Businesses can start by claiming their venue on Foursquare. After staking their claim, businesses may then run specials or customers who check in while collecting data on those customers. Customer data compiled by Foursquare includes most frequent visitors, most recent visitors, the time of day that most customers check in and how often their check-ins are broadcasted to Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Places

How It Works: Facebook Places allows Facebook users to turn on location services whenever they make a post. By sharing their location, users get a chance to link up with other people who are nearby. Updates will appear on the Facebook Place page, on the user's news feed and on the user's wall. Users can also tag the friends who are with them and make them part of their status update.

How Businesses Benefit: Business owners start by claiming their place on Facebook or adding their place to Facebook. A quick search for the place will tell users if the place needs to be added or if it exists already. Then, if the business has an existing page, the business should merge its Places listing and its page. Once this process is complete, companies may extend deals to customers who check in through Facebook Places. Deals include one-time offers, loyalty deals for repeat customers or friend deals that entice up to eight people to check in at once.

Yelp

How It Works: Customers sign up for a personal account on Yelp which allows them to rate and to write reviews of local businesses. Yelp recognizes customers' location and lists popular restaurants and other businesses on its home page according to the customer's whereabouts. Most cities in America have a Yelp community which creates virtual word-of-mouth about a variety of different companies.

How Businesses Benefit: Businesses should claim their location on Yelp and fill out their business page completely. If customers leave a negative review, Yelp allows businesses to respond constructively with an apology or with correct information. Businesses can also create offers and announcements on Yelp, and those announcements will appear on the directory page for the company's city.

Utilizing Location Based Services will help small businesses to get the word out about their products and services. LBS will also allow businesses to provide offers for customers who check in at their businesses. With LBS, businesses will generate positive word-of-mouth while providing high-quality values to a variety of clients.