[tweetmeme]By Blake Sanders
A business’s resourcefulness can be a determining factor of success in today’s market. More and more, businesses are recognizing the importance of social media in the marketing world. Facebook, Groupon, and Foursquare have each taken a different approach to marketing for small businesses. Consumers are benefiting from their mobile marketing efforts by receiving discounts. Businesses benefit by increasing revenue and gaining exposure from new customers. Each tool has changed the face of online marketing. Advancements in mobile broadband Internet have made all of this possible.
Mobile Broadband Marketing
Mobile broadband marketing is growing in popularity. Many consumers are using mobile internet to access information about businesses and discounts while on the go. People that use mobile internet may contact their friends to meet them at particular locations. Businesses benefit because the revenue increase is immediate. Friends contact their friends and, immediately, a small business has customers.
The usefulness of social media is endless. Consumers are truly benefiting from small businesses that desire to build clientele. As customers value the product and become loyal customers, the small business will grow and be required to spend fewer marketing dollars to retain current customers. Small businesses may reinvest the money into other areas of the company.
Facebook has partnered with businesses to help them gain more customers by improving customer service, offering promotional deals, and improving public relations online. After the introduction of Groupon, Facebook attempted to offer Facebook Deals to provide online incentives for users of its vast social network. The idea did not do as well as expected.
Instead, Facebook decided to focus on location-based marketing through the use of Facebook Places and “tagging” businesses that were offering deals in the user’s location. This tool allows consumers to find their friends in any location as well as earn discounts.
Facebook continues to excel in other areas and facilitate businesses by helping them offer deals to their customers. Facebook facilitates companies that offer promotional deals to consumers without formally starting their own discount coupon company. Discounts encourage people to shop more. Increased shopping builds brand loyalty. When friends refer friends, they receive more incentives than they would if they did not refer friends.
Groupon is a remarkable new marketing tool that helps companies gain exposure by offering discounted rates to people buying together at one time. Consumers may receive discounts on salons, massages, dinner or countless other items. These people redeem their coupons at the establishment by a given time period. This company may also offer incentives for customers that also invite their friends to participate. For instance, if three or more friends purchase a deal, the consumer will receive their deal free.
Foursquare mayorships allow its users to “check in” to businesses and receive promotional deals for “check ins.” For instance, a person may “check in” at a coffee shop 10 times and then receive a free coffee. The idea is to reward loyal customers that visit a location frequently. Companies increase revenue with repeat business. The mayorships also encourage large groups of people to gather in a location at a single time. People that can bring a crowd will be rewarded with a discount. Unfortunately, employees or managers cannot participate and receive discounts at their location.
Las Vegas Casinos, retail stores, and others are using this concept to lure customers into their establishments. The concept works. People must get accustomed to the idea of people locating them and flashing personalized advertisements.
Blake Sanders is a tech writer at Broadband Expert, the broadband comparison website. He specializes in writing on mobile broadband, mobile phones, and the latest in wireless internet provider news and information.
Note: Photo courtesy of pinksherbet via FlickR Creative Commons.