If you own a business that depends on foot traffic to stay afloat, then you know the importance of tying your online presence to your brick-and-mortar store. This goes beyond building a website, creating a Facebook profile, and opening a Twitter account. If your business is in a physical location, you should embrace location-based social networking as well.
Thanks to services like Foursquare, Facebook Places, and Google Places, doing this has never been easier. After you’ve created your venue on any of these sites, visitors to your store can check-in, letting their friends know that they stopped by your business. You can also offer deals to repeat customers or first-time visitors to further your appeal on these sites.
But what do you do after you’ve created a listing on Google Places, Facebook Places, and Foursquare (or whatever location-based social network you choose to embrace)? How do you ensure that customers know about it? More importantly, how can you use these services to entice customers back to your business? While this post doesn’t address the last question, it does provide a couple ideas on increasing awareness based on some promotional products Google sent to some of its top users.
I recently come across two great examples of how Google has helped business-owners inform their customers about their Google Places listing—something that has grown in importance thanks to the emerging prevalence of Google-based Android phones and recent enhancements to Google’s search functionality. These days, if you search for a term that you would have found in the yellow pages 10 years ago—such as “Plumber,” for instance—you will see a list of nearby businesses in addition to general search results, meaning that it’s absolutely vital to ensure that your business has a listing on Google Places.
The first example, from December 2009, may be a little out-of-date, but I’m sure it helped the businesses in question at the time. In an effort to raise awareness for Google Places, Google sent nearly 200,000 businesses that had already configured their Google Places listing a Custom Stickers with a QR code pointing to the listing on Google Places. Not only did the business gain a little clout by being listed as a preferred business by Google, but it also helped Google increase the adoption rate of its Places product. It was truly a win-win for both parties.
Another example, this one from earlier this month, shows that Google has doled out Custom Promotional Coasters to small business owners, again in an effort to raise awareness for the business’s Google Places listing. Pretty cool, huh? Now think if you had your own custom stickers or custom coasters to direct customers to your listing on Google Places, Facebook Places, or Foursquare. More customers would know about your presence on these services, which would hopefully equate to more buzz about your business.
There are thousands of ways to promote your business, but the two examples shown above are good methods at increasing visitors’ interaction with your online presence. With the growing prevalence of location-based social networks, using promotional products such as custom stickers or custom coasters is a great way to keep customers informed. Order some Business Promotional Items from InkHead today and engage your customers!
If your business is on Foursquare or Google Places, what, if anything, have you done to interact with customers?