How Small Businesses Can Get the Most from Location-Based Services

Location-based services can benefit your business in more ways than one.

Contrary to what some people believe, location-based services are more than just another addition to the existing digital noise in the online world. While it all started as a fun way of sharing users’ whereabouts and experiences with their online social network, it finally evolved into one of the most valuable marketing tools for certain types of businesses such as restaurants, movie theaters and retail businesses.?

Location-Based Services101

A location service is basically an information service that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) and wireless networks to identify the location of the user. It can also be used to find people, businesses or services within the user’s geographic location.?

At present, there are a number of popular location-based social networks and directories such as Foursquare, Yelp, Citysearch and Bizzy. Due to its growing popularity, the service is also being adopted by most social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Groupon, to name a few.

How Businesses Benefit from Location-Based Services

According to the results of a recent study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 74% of all smartphone users use location-based services to get relevant information on what’s happening in their immediate vicinity. In a similar study, Google discovered that 75% of mobile searches have local intent and that about 94% of all smartphone users have searched for local information using such services.?

Location-based services can benefit your business in more ways than one. It can provide free advertising for your business, help endorse your events and promotions, convert impulses to sales and give you the chance to know your customers better. You can also use it to attract new customers, reward your loyal customers and improve your search engine rankings ? all without breaking the bank.?

Maximizing Your Results ? How Can You Do It?

Here are some ways by which you can use location-based services to your advantage.

  • Use it to drive new customers to your business. You can attract new customers by offering a special ‘newbie’ promo.
  • Devise loyalty programs to reward your customers. Use check-ins to identify your most loyal customers and offer exciting discounts and/or preferential treatment.?
  • Use geo-fencing to attract customers. A geo-fence refers to a virtual perimeter of a real-world geographic area that can be dynamically generated around a particular location. You can use this feature to your advantage by sending an automatically generated offer, coupon or friendly reminder to the users’ location-based apps whenever they cross your geofence.?

Using location-based services can help you achieve your business goals. Try it to see how it can help you take your business to greater heights.