What does geo-location mean for PR? Lots! But first…
What is Geo-location Anyway?
Geolocation is a new social networking trend that allows people to share where they are and tips about the place. Two of the biggest geolocation apps right now are FourSquare and Gowalla. FourSquare allows users to “check in” to a place, find nearby places to check in to, and read and leave tips about the places they’ve been. Gowalla allows you to directly search for place and also leave virtual “presents” like cowboy hats and lattes for people at locations you’ve been to.
Google has also gotten into the geo-location game with Google Places, which allows you to create a business profile and fill in information about your business, along with the ability to post coupons and deals.
Great, What Does This Have to Do with PR?
We’re getting to that. With geo-location, you can:
Create a Profile for Your Business Yourself
Start off by checking geolocation networks and seeing if your business is listed. If it isn’t-add it in yourself. This makes it easier for people to check in. Foursquare also asks if you’re the owner of your business, allows you to easily add in an deals, coupons or promotions being offered. Google Places allows you to add crucial information to your profile, such as your contact information, web site, hours of operation, and category your business falls into.
Promote Specials, Coupons, and Events
On Foursquare, you can easily add any promotions or events as a tip on your businesses profile. With Gowalla, you can leave small gifts for the next customer who checks in. Part of the appeal of networks like Foursquare and Gowalla are the game like aspect. To encourage this, you can create badges, encouraging people to check in. Feel free to get creative with this one.
With Google Places, you can directly print out downloadable coupons for your business. Google Places also allows you to promote status updates. This 160 character update can include any promotional information regarding your business.
Allow Your Customers to Promote Your Business
Geolocation networks allows you to easily promote your business through who your customers listen to-other customers. They can add reviews and their own tips. Their checking in allows other people to notice the place and can help piques interest in checking out your business for themselves.
How Larger Companies Have Gotten Involved:
Wall Street Journal and the History Channel have both partnered with FourSquare as a promotional tool. The Wall Street Journal offers the ability to pull up news and reviews related to where you check in. The History Channel offers badges for visiting different historical sites.
The clothing store Diesel even jumped on the Foursquare band wagon, with Mashable reporting that Diesel didn’t create a Foursquare badge as Marc Jacobs did for their event. Instead, they offered a “deal,” and focused on utilizing Foursquare as a promotional tool to bring people into a retail store that they otherwise may not have entered. Within the first hour, the store saw four people come in and do just that.” Marc Jacobs created an event around the February 2010 New York Fashion show.
Sure, these are larger, well-known companies, but it doesn’t mean that your smaller business can’t implement something propotionally similar.
Geolocation social network usage is growing rapidly. Jump on the bandwagon now to get the most PR value of this new trend.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html