How to Engage Clients Through Location-Based Marketing Services

Facebook places, Foursquare, and Yelp are all the rage with mobile-social users, but how do you leverage your customers presence on these sites for your business?

Outsourced Sales Force interviewed Brittany Smith, community manager for Yelp in Indianapolis, to get a few inside tips.

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Here is what we found:

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– What is location based marketing?

A. Location-based marketing is advertising using the growing impact of social media check-in’s.  People like telling people where they are and using their personal life to simultaneously spread the message of brand experience.

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– How do location-based marketing services differentiate from other types of marketing?

A.  Business owners often see more of a long-term impact with clients through sampling, building relationships, and connecting with customers face-to-face instead of just with a non-engaging ad.

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– What are the benefits to small businesses?

A.   Participating in and supporting local businesses is a hot item right now.  The opposite is also true – businesses are into supporting their communities.  Sun King Brewery likes being involved in not-for-profit causes, which leverages their ability to bridge the gap between customer and owner.  Consumers like to be where the great action is, and businesses like to be connected to consumers.  Location-based marketing services make both happen seamlessly.

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– What are the best ways to get followers?

A.  First, sign up.  Get onto Yelp, and own your page instead of letting the technology and commenting move on without you.  Next, recognize people, and make them feel like they matter by responding.  When you engage with people, they engage back and become loyal followers.  Another idea is to create online loyalty cards within your location-based pages.  Give customers a feeling of being a regular and being in the “in” crowd.  Brittany forgot her credit card at the City Markets, Natural Born Juicers, and they let her get her purchase on a tab.  What a way to build a raving fan!  Lastly, tell people what’s going on instead of what you’re selling.  People like to be the first to know, and your Yelp, Foursquare, or Facebook page can keep them in the loop.

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– What are the best ways to increase fan engagement?

A. Engage with them.  Sample with them.  Communicate with them.  When businesses interact with the human aspect of clients, and emphasize the unique selling points of your business, that’s when they create a unique experience that spreads.  Business owners can also build loyalty and long-term relationships through be-back offers.  Is it okay that someone get’s 10% off every time they check in?  Yes!  They’re coming back to your store to spend money with you AND telling all of their friends about it.  What could be better.  Plus, having a long-term and engaged relationship with customers builds self-inflicted guilt when they aren’t in touch with you.  In layman’s terms, your customers will begin to miss you.

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– How can business owners begin to monetize their location-based marketing presence?

A.  Host follower parties with inside deals.  Make sure whatever event you throw is fun and quirky – something that could be media worthy.  When the event is only for your Facebook, Yelp, or Foursquare followers, they will continue to feel like the ‘inside’ crowd, and will be even more loyal to you.  Remember to publish check-in deals or side deals.  This is the most simple way to get started.

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– How should I respond to negative feedback, reviews, or comments?

A.  Start by responding through a private message.  Don’t just ignore it and get angry.  Ask for a second chance, and give them a reason to come back.  Finally, take advantage of the review as constructive criticism.

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Brittany Smith is the Community Manager for Yelp in Indianapolis.  If you have questions about owning your free business page, you can contact her at bsmith@yelp.com. 

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Jamar Cobb-Dennard is a sales and marketing expert who helps companies without a sales force have a sales force.  To receive your free trial of a software that will track your referral revenue, centralize social media updates, and automate email/text/postcard marketing, click here.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. These are great tips for service-oriented businesses to take advantage of social networking!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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