There’s a point in the Dr. Seuss classic, Horton Hears A Who, when the micro community screams out a vigorous “WE ARE HERE!” only to be ignored by the outside world. In some ways, this scenario echoes the problems of today’s small businesses – struggling mightily to be heard in a bustling marketplace.
Unlike the Whos, however, businesses now have the benefit of geo-location; powerful technology that can put your coordinates in the palm of your prospect’s hand. Is your business prepared to make the most of this science? The following tips show you how.
Do you really need geo-location? For some, it’s an absolute must. If you’re a restaurateur or retailer or any other business that relies heavily on foot traffic, geo-location can help guide customers right to your door. What’s more, your competitors are likely using it, so getting on board can keep you in step.
If you don’t need a steady stream of foot traffic, for instance, if you run a B2B shop selling HVAC equipment to builders online, there may be more efficient ways to raise your profile and generate business.
Depending on your business goals, there are a variety ways you can make your presence known using geo-location. If you simply want your name to come up in local web searches, having a business listing on Google, Bing or other search engines will get your foot in the digital door. If you want to promote special offers or entice prospects to visit, see tips three and four.
Let’s say you run a sporting goods store and have a huge sale planned for Black Friday. Geo-fencing allows you to set a bounding box around your location ranging from a few blocks to several miles so anyone within it can receive a pop-up ad alerting them to the event. For tips on enhancing your geo-fencing efforts, click here.
Registering your business on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter gives your business a chance to get in on the conversation, whether it’s about your new vegan-friendly dishes or the latest fashion trends available in your shop. Tip 4.5? Make sure the talk isn’t one-sided – succeeding here demands you hold up your end of the conversation.
According to the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of American adults own a smart phone, up from 58 percent just one year ago. If you’re one of the 36 percent without one, trade up from your flip phone and see what the buzz is about. Try Googling your business and see what happens. If you already own a smart phone, be sure to upgrade regularly to stay on top of technological advances.
If you’re not sure how geo-location can help a business in your field, find one that is and see what they’re doing successfully. For instance, if you’re interested in learning about successful micro-brew pubs that geo-fence, search the web. There may already be a white paper about it you can download in an instant.
Geo-location provides several opportunities for small businesses to raise their voices. The more you understand it, the greater the chances of being heard.