Posts Tagged ‘location-based social media’


What’s the Deal, Facebook?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

Gowalla Location-Based Social MediaTo businesses looking to attract consumers: I’ll give you my email address, if you promise to send me coupons. I’ll fill out your online survey, if you give me a free appetizer at my next visit. I will fan your Facebook page, if you send me exclusive offers. I would even check in to your business, if I used a service like FourSquare or Gowalla. But, I will only do what you ask, if you give me something in return…

Facebook introduced “Places” in August, an application that allows users to check in to local businesses and places ala FourSquare. However, according to PC World, a study by Pew Internet and American Life Project released statistics showing that “only four percent of online adult Americans use location-based services.” Merely one percent of participants in the Pew survey actually use check-in applications, such as FourSquare.

So why would Facebook broach the location-based application market when only a very small percentage of Americans actually use it? Leave it to Mark Zuckerberg to have another trick up his sleeve. Zuckerberg, with the launch of Facebook Deals, realized that the popularity of Facebook , the release of The Social Network and, let’s be honest, an already Facebookcentric world – can and probably will turn the one percent of location-based app users into way more!

According to the PC World article mentioned earlier, Facebook Deals “will allow people to find deals nearby when checking into a location on Facebook.” Even better, you can find deals ahead of time and then choose to venture to that business and check-in to receive a coupon on your mobile phone. What better incentive to check-in to a location than the promise of a discount? Furthermore, aren’t users more likely to visit a business that is offering a discount than a business that is not?

Taking a nod to the marketing gurus of the world, consumers love discounts. Especially in this economy, coupon offers can be the deciding factor when debating where to get lunch or where to get that new pair of jeans.

Facebook has not only paved the way for social networking and changed the way users interact online, but now has allowed businesses to have a greater reach with their current consumers and easily find new ones!

Are you in the one percent of location based application users using applications such as FourSquare and Gowalla? If not, will you be more or less likely to use this type of product if you were guaranteed a discount? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Why Are Marketing and PR Professionals Using Geo-Location or Location-Based Social Media?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

foursquare2This past April, I asked if geo-location social media is the next big thing for PR? Five months later, some are still trying to figure it out. At a panel I recently moderated for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NCC) I found some in the audience were very knowledgeable and just looking for additional tips, while others wanted to know how to login.

To summarize the panel: location apps (e.g., Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt) serve as another way to enhance a consumer or stakeholder’s experience and interaction with your company, brand, or client. 

Tara Dunion, Consumer Electronics Association, looks to enhance the attendee experience at the International Consumer Electronics Show each January by creating an official location page on Foursquare and aggregating all the social media coverage on the website. (And they even plan to add additional locations for 2011). She commented that many exhibitors have multiple locations available for check-in, which also buys-into the game aspect of Foursquare.

Danielle Brigida says, The National Wildlife Federation wants to get you outside enjoying nature, so they employ Whrrl and Foursquare to help people share their experiences with others.  Whrrl works well for their needs because it allows the user to upload a picture to help tell their story.

A recent story on Mashable by Dan Klamm highlighted how universities and colleges can use location-based tools to promote the school, foster school spirit, drive revenue and promote the community. One idea included offering special badges for exploring places on campus.

However, not all location-based tools are gaining momentum. When Facebook Places premiered, Foursquare had a record number of new sign-ins because it connects with the new Facebook app. A few weeks later, few people are using Facebook Places. Dan Frommer explored the possible reasons on Business Insider, commenting, “Only 2% of My Friends Are Using Facebook Places…”

After the panel ended, I enjoyed brainstorming with others on how they might use these tools to help their organizations. How could you add geo-location social media into your PR toolbox? What questions do you have about the tools? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Facebook Going Places or a Privacy Risk?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

FacebookPlaces1As if we aren’t already super connected with social media, smart phones and web cams – Facebook now wants to know, “Where are you right now?” And if you want everyone to know, then visit Facebook’s Places application and share. According to Facebook, “Places is a Facebook feature that allows you to see where your friends are and share your location in the real world. When you use places, you’ll be able to see if any of your friends are currently checked in nearby and connect with them easily.”  With this new feature, you can find out which of your friends are in or around your location – creating opportunities for impromptu meetings with friends.

The “Places” application is creating a bridge between online and face to face communication (F2F). This is refreshing when F2F interpersonal communication seems to be lacking with the surging reliance on computer mediated communication. The new application encourages users to find each other and participate in dialogue outside of the Facebook community. Perhaps there is life outside of Facebook after all!

While Dennis Crowley, creator of location-based social media site Foursquare, has called Facebook Places “boring” and “unexciting,” the real issue surrounding the newest Facebook application is one of privacy (a concern Facebook is likely used to debating by now). All users must configure their own privacy settings for this application. According to Reuters, “Facebook says all Places check-ins are visible only to friends by default unless your master privacy control is set to ‘Everyone.’” However, it is important to note that there is no way to completely opt out of the Places app. Reuters notes, “If you use Places to check yourself in, then third-party check –ins [ability for your friends to check in your location] are turned on automatically unless you adjust your privacy settings.”

But the other key issue goes back to the days when Mom would leave you home alone and say, “If anyone comes to the door, don’t tell them that I’m not at home.” With Places users are parading the fact that, not only are they not at home, but they are having a nice dinner, in this city, on this street and probably won’t be home for awhile… giving someone ample opportunity to find them or their home.

The debate will continue as users begin to delve further into Places. Do you think Places is a privacy risk or another way to connect with contacts? How do you plan to incorporate Places into your public relations or marketing mix? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce