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With businesses increasingly embracing social media and expanding their use of it, it's no surprise that they're eager to set up shop on the hottest social media hubs.
Facebook and Twitter have welcomed business users with open arms, and many companies are beating down Google's door in an effort to get the search giant to accelerate the roll-out of brand pages on Google+.
Radisson Edwardian, which operates several hotels around the UK, has been running some innovative social media campaigns recently.
These include adding QR codes to its menus, which send users to videos of dishes being prepared, as well as a new Foursquare campaign offering late checkouts.
Econsultancy’s new Location-based Marketing Smart Pack has just been released as a theory-driven explanatory guide about this rapidly evolving area.
I’ve identified 26 key elements inside this wide and complex channel that you probably need to be aware of. Notice that it’s a mixture of trends, platforms, strategy and more, as I’ve avoided simply listing the main players in the market that everyone knows about.
Let me know if you think I’ve missed anything important!
I've been talking to Kristal about using social media tools to promote tourism, and crowdsourcing great content for the website.
Location-based services like Foursquare saw their popularity increase dramatically in 2010, and along with that popularity came plenty of press attention. To some, location-based services may represent the holy grail of mobile marketing for brick-and-mortar businesses.
But are brick-and-mortar marketers overestimating how much these services can help them?
Leave the Facebook Deals and sponsored Twitter trends to the other brands. McDonald’s is using a location-based, social media scavenger hunt to promote its new coffee drink, but the company is using free content - not buying any of the new ad units - as part of the campaign.
So email's becoming obsolete, huh?
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said as much last June. And of course, everyone knows younger users don't even use email anymore. (Let's just ignore the fact that you can't open a Facebook account without an email address).
Now, Facebook's set to announce Project Titan on Monday, which is almost universally expected to be an unveiling of Facebook's "Gmail killer" email service.
The Palms Casino Resort is one of those spots in Las Vegas that's notorious for its "hip" status. (It even spawned a reality TV show called "Party @ the Palms"). So when the Palms was featured as one of the first companies to offer location-based deals on Facebook, the pairing made sense. After all, "hip" companies are the first to experiment with "hip" new ad units, right?
According to Larry Fink, the Palms Casino Resort's executive director of public relations, offering Facebook Deals is about more than just being hip. It's about creating opportunities to generate incremental revenue from customers already earned through other means.
There’s a tug-of-war going on between location-based technology advocates and, well, the rest of the online population. Just 4% of online Americans are actually using location-based services, according to new data from Pew Internet. That paltry adoption hasn’t stopped startups like Foursquare and Gowalla from trying to entice advertisers to offer deals on their location-based platforms.
Now Facebook has entered the fray with its new “Deals” offering, which gives users exclusive deals when they check in at stores. Is it premature?
Foursquare's founder Dennis Crowley has an idea: turn influential social media users into affiliate marketers.
At a panel discussion the other day, he suggested that if you mention a brand, or one of its products and services, and that mention generates revenue for the brand, "you should get some kind of referrer’s fee." He predicted that within a year, "there will be some way for [users] to get kickbacks" through social media platforms.
As a big fan of location-based applications (I'm currently 'checking in' at various locations on five different apps...!) I have of course been watching the launch and subsequent spread of Facebook Places with great interest.
Now that the first batch of dust has had a chance to settle, I wanted to look in a bit more detail at some of the hurdles 'Places' may face in the coming months, if past experience is to be believed.
Brands are increasingly spending real money building up and maintaining their social media presences. From Facebook to Twitter to Foursquare, questions over ROI remain, but many brands have come to the conclusion that social media is an important part of the marketing mix.
But should brands bet too much on platforms like Twitter, which often have spotty performance records but are constantly trying to cozy up to brands? The answer might just be 'no.'