If you're a local merchant with a bricks-and-mortar presence, it's time to kiss the yellow pages goodbye. There's no longer any excuse for not having a web presence or for ignoring digital marketing. Eighty-two percent of people use search engines to find information about local businesses - more than any other media. Even if you don't have a website (you should, but that's another story), there are six sites no local business can afford to ignore.
Not only is getting listed dead simple, it's a great leveler. If you own a pizza place, you can compete head-to-head with national chains like Dominos. Hardware? Go up against Home Depot and Lowes. You get the idea.
Claiming your business and getting listed and on all five of the Big Six should only take an hour or so (though most require you wait for a postcard or phone call o verify that you are who you say you are). Once you've enlisted, and taken advantage of some of the special features these sites offer (mostly for free), you'll reap many advantages. You'll have a presence in organic search results, not only on the web, but also on mobile platforms.
You can offer special deals and inducements to lure new business, you can encourage positive reviews and, to a degree, manage your online reputation. You can precisely map your location and help people to find it, and broadcast your hours of operation. And you'll have access to analytics that can inform you of the keywords used to find your business, the time of day people search for you and other data that can help improve your online presence, offers and advertising and promotional campaigns.
With a near-zero investment of time and money, there's absolutely no excuse to not get started with The Big Six.
The Wall Street Journal may have a long way to go before its new New York section becomes a must-read, but it's making some headway with social media.
When the newspaper launched its new section last month, it also announced a partnership with Foursquare. And while one of my colleagues might disagree with me on this one, I think it was a smart move. And today proved why.
Geolocation-based social network Foursquare just might be the internet's 'next big thing'. While it isn't anywhere close to the size of Twitter or Facebook, the young company last month passed the million user mark.
That's a memorable milestone for any consumer internet startup, but the company's progress is perhaps better measured by the number of marketing deals it has inked with bigger companies. Here are 10 of those deals.
Is Foursquare the next consumer internet startup that's on the verge of
making a big mainstream splash? A growing number of print publishers
seem to hope it is and are in turn aligning themselves with the young
Recently, I detailed the Financial Times' initiative with Foursquare,
which will give certain Foursquare users the ability to access FT.com
without a subscription at no cost for a limited time.
Austin's music, film and tech festival SXSW came and went this year with much fanfare and documentation. One of the parties following along was Pepsi. The soft drink makers spent its second year tracking social media at SXSW with something called Pepsi Zeitgeist.
Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Flickr updates were all sent to Pepsi's tracking interface, built by Slash7. The results from the event show both the potential for listening in on social media and how much room for growth there is in this burgeoning medium.
The Financial Times is lucky. It's in the minority of newspapers that
can legitimately claim to have found 'success' with an internet pay wall.
The company's subscribers pay upwards of $180 a year to access content
on the Financial Times' website, FT.com, which is behind one of the more
solid pay walls around.
But that pay wall isn't impervious; it may be coming down if you're a certain type of mobile internet user in certain geographic regions. That's because,
according to Business Insider, the Financial Times will soon launch an
initiative with Foursquare that will give some Foursquare users who check
into certain businesses in certain locations the ability to access
FT.com without a paid subscription.
Some of the world's most recognizable brands collectively spend billions of dollars annually associating themselves with celebrities (movie stars, athletes, etc.). The logic is simple: consumers love celebrities, and by associating with the right ones, brands can generate goodwill and buzz.
Most young internet businesses don't have the moola to ink celebrity sponsorships, but that doesn't mean that celebrities haven't become an important part of the web startup ecosystem. Just look at Twitter.
This week, both Twitter and Facebook have come out with big location news. Twitter is adding geolocation features and Facebook will soon let users share their location. Both of those announcements could strike fear in the heart of a mobile check-in service like Foursquare. But Foursquare is banking its success in the mobile check-in space on attention to detail. And the company also has some new features — that could be very useful for small businesses.
In the next few weeks, Foursquare is going to start sharing a free analytics tool that will help small businesses track — and communicate with — their customers.
Mobile location-based social network and gaming service Foursquare has been generated a bit of buzz lately, especially amongst the early adopter crowd. In just under a year, it has amassed a user base of 300,000, and with deals like the one it recently signed with television network Bravo, some believe Foursquare may be ready to hit the mainstream.
That's good news for the company and its investors, but as Foursquare starts exploring the commercial opportunities that come with popularity, it may find that maintaining the 'cool' factor and maximizing commercial opportunities at the same time is a difficult thing to do.
Twitter is over three years old and many people still don't get it. Just last week, The NewYorker's George Packer called it “crack for media addicts.” But will real-time oversharing services make it into the mainstream?
At The Future of Space and Time talk during Social Media Week in New York on Wednesday, panelists from the tech world noted that conditioning larger audiences to share their real-time info and location will be necessary for such technologies to truly take off.
And for advertisers, this could be the key to actually serving those relevant ads everyone's always talking about.