In our modern times, business owners must be able to harness the popular technologies, trends, and tendencies of their day in order to increase sales and avoid falling behind their competitors. In most cases, this involves business owners remaining flexible with their marketing strategies, because marketing trends can change very rapidly. However, with ingenuity and creativity, gearing marketing efforts towards popular trends and technologies can set a business apart from their competition, and ensure success.
Today, smart phones are on the rise across the world, but especially in the United States. From 2010 to 2011, smart phone usage in the United States increased by an astonishing 60%! There are now over 62 million smart phone users in the United States that have access to 3G networks, the internet, and countless applications wherever they go. These numbers are expected to continue to increase throughout the years, which is great evidence for business owners to begin to focus their efforts towards marketing to these users.
On most smart phones, users are able to download applications, or apps, that offer them location-based listings for restaurants, movie theaters, laundromats, and more! In order to harness the power of these new apps, business owners should make sure that their online presence is significant. Since users will now be able to see which of their friends are at the local coffee shop, read customer reviews of that shop’s turkey club sandwich, and even call that location with the touch of a button, business owners need to make certain that their online presence is stronger than their competition.
Here are some ways that business owners can increase their online presence and harness the power of location-based technology:
1. Social Media Networking and Customer Reviews: Every business owner should make sure that their business is being represented on Twitter and Facebook in order to connect directly with customers. Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows users to “follow” others “tweets.” Business owners often use Twitter to offer their followers exclusive deals, announce new products, and more. Facebook is by-and-far the most popular social media network out there. With Facebook, businesses can create a Fan Page that users can “like.” The more people the “like” your page, the more visible your business will be to others on Facebook.
Another important aspect of social media is the emergence of review websites like Ripoff Report, Get Satisfaction, and even customer reviews available on Amazon! These websites allow users to review products, services, and local businesses. Your business can be given a certain star rating, and customers can post pictures. Many of these websites allow the business owner in question to comment on complaints raised against them in order to settle disputes. It is extremely important for every business to monitor their reviews and make sure that their customers are satisfied! These reviews will often appear next to location-based searches on mobile phone apps. Make sure that the first reviews your customers see are great ones!
2. Google Maps Optimization: Google Maps has revolutionized the way that people look up directions and locations. With a simple internet search, or using the Google app on your cell phone, you can get a map that pinpoints the locations of your query. The most relevant or closest results to your location will appear first. However, without Google Maps optimization, your business may not be listed at all! Google Maps optimization is the process by which your business name, location, contact information, and more are added to the Google directory. Google Maps optimization makes it much more likely that your business will be pulled up as the top result when consumers in your area search for businesses in your category. With more and more searches being performed on smart phones in the United States, every business needs to consider their social media pres