5 reasons why social location marketing can shape the consumer journey

In this opinion piece, director of Evolve Social David Wesson takes us through five ways the new era of social location marketing can help event organisers and retailers create more relevant brand experiences to shape the consumer journey.

Social Location Mobile or SOLOMO was the term that had marketers buzzing a few years ago where the check-in was the order of the day with new location-based apps like Foursquare, Gowalla and Groupon. 

Fast forward to 2016 and with the huge shift from desktop to mobile the check-in has been replaced by the tagging of posts via location on social media platforms like Facebook, twitter and Instagram. 

It is this trend that is had driven the growth of geosocial data, both as a source of customer insights and potential engagement. It represents a unique opportunity for marketers and brands to respond to and interact with visitors in real-time while at their location to create more connected contextual social brand experiences which can shape the consumer path to purchase.  

We call this new category social location marketing and see it as the next wave of opportunity for brands and marketers alike to fully leverage the data from the social cloud. 


1. Social Location Insights

The intelligence gained through hyper-local social media monitoring is invaluable. Brands need to know what’s being said in the locations important to them, including everything from engaging with real-time customer experience chatter to uncovering fan and customer content that doesn’t use hashtags

Nowhere is this more relevant than for brands running events or operating bricks and mortar retail businesses who now with geo-social data have a powerful way to understand the conversation at a hyper-local level to engage users in real-time at a specific place. 

This new location-based social data set via tools like GeofeediaMapkats, and local measure offers the opportunity for brands to analyse how, where and when customers are engaging with brands at specific locations, examine trends and drill down to uncover, what content topics are promoting the best engagement and act upon this information.

So if you are running a sports event you can capture fan content and syndicate it to your team pages, sponsored microsites, likewise, if it is a community cultural event – you can promote community engagement, promote local businesses, and support sponsors.

Multi-location retailers, also have the opportunity to explore of a wealth of data which can provide a neighborhood view of each of their stores and gain insights growing trends, who the social influencers are, and the comments and the social discussions growing around them. (see simulated example below)

Imagine the implications for nearby shops and restaurant to find out not only what people are talking about but over time start to build a database of these people to target with offers and promotions.

Alternatively, you might want to conduct a competitor review on customer activity from inside the stores of your competitors as well as your own to help give you a broader understanding of your target audience or discover product based trends.

To quote marketer Jay Baer, “The intelligence gained through hyper-local social media monitoring is invaluable. Brands need to know what’s being said in the locations important to them, including everything from engaging with real-time customer experience chatter to uncovering fan and customer content that doesn’t use hashtags,” 

To put things in context traditional social media platform vendors – such as Radian6, or Sysomos do a great job of understanding the “what” of social conversation by monitoring keywords or hashtags, however, what social location monitoring does is discover the “where” which adds a layer of context to your insights.  

Furthermore, what Geofeedia found out is that on average, 74% of social posts don’t contain relevant hashtags and keywords so social media monitoring in the traditional sense is missing a whole wealth of data is it simply not possible to track using convention social media monitoring tools.”  

Put simply It is not enough to understand what is being said but where it is being said and armed with this information it is possible to reach, target, and engage your audience more effectively.  


2. Advanced Location Targeting & Reach  

Reaching and targeting your audience at a hyper-local level just got a whole lot easier thanks to Instagram advertising on the Facebook Advertising platform.

Reaching and targeting your audience at a hyper-local level just got a whole lot easier thanks to Instagram advertising on the Facebook Advertising platform where it is now possible to create a series of hyper-local ad campaigns to reach your audience down to a 1K radius if required simply by dropping a pin as in the example below and adjusting the distance.

These type of advanced location target ads on Instagram are perfect for: 

Driving purchases during sales 

Set up a geo-targeted area over your local catchment area to promote your shop as the perfect destination to pick up a sales bargain and 

  • Target your audience in the lead up to the weekend and Thursday evening to let your audience is on.  
  • Include a call to action that highlights selected products that are on sale. 

Attracting customers to your venue 

Set up a geo-targeted area over your local catchment area to promote the event at your venue as the perfect place to spend time with your friends.  

  • Run ads that promote the event in the lead up to and on the day of the event.
  • Include a call to action that includes ‘book tickets now’ or a photo contest at the event.

Leveraging traffic from local events

Set up a geo-targeted area over a local festival to promote your bar/hotel/restaurantas the perfect after party destination and

  • Target your audience before they head out to the event.
  • Include a call to action for a special promotion at your place of business

Attracting walk-in customers  

Set up a geo-targeted area over your local catchment area to promote your local café or restaurant as the perfect lunchtime destination

  • Target your audience in the lead-up and during lunch time
  • Include a call to action to get 10% off the lunchtime special for Instagram fans.
  • Run ads that promote the event in the lead up to and on that night.
  • Include a call to action that includes ‘book tickets now’ or a photo contest at the event.

3. The Ability to run location-based promotions

Having done the hard work getting your audience to your location engaging your audience with your brand and share their experience is easy now thanks to tools like Mapkats which can help set up an Instagram photo contest at the location.

This is where really knowing your audience and their habits through social location monitoring pays dividends and running a promotion that taps into your community culture to engage and help drive awareness of your products is a great option for events and retail locations.

For example, in order to help launch their new sweet potato flavour Red Rock Deli ran an Instagram promo at their Melbourne Cup Day brand activation which resulted in over 300 photos being posted on the platform and then cross-promoted on their own Facebook page with a huge organic reach uplift as entrants jumped on the brands facebook page to find out if they were a winner.

Easy to run promos like this help drive additional ROI for brands when the content is social and can also be shared across your own social channels as well as your audience’s own social networks.


4. Driving on-site conversions through social media 

The sweet spot for any brand is when you can convert your audience into paying customers as part of the consumer journey where you have used your social location insights and have created an engaging promotion that has attracted your potential customer in-store.  

During the 2014 Soccer World Cup Evolve Social in conjunction with Mapkats ran a promo for Rebel Sport that tapped into fans passion for their country to ‘Show their Colours’. We did this by asking fans to go in-store and purchase a jersey, hat or scarf of their national team and post a selfie of themselves on Instagram with a campaign hashtag to go into the draw to win a $1,000 gift voucher every week of the world cup.

These pictures were then pulled in and posted to a photo album on the rebel Facebook page via the Mapkats Marketing Platform for their fans to vote on and one winner was picked each week from those photos with the most likes. 

Utilising the user-generated content from the contest created a huge uplift of brand reach and engagement where the winner and finalists each week became advocates for the brand and most importantly the campaign helped drive record sales of merchandise.  See the full case study

For more tips on converting sales at location through social media see 5 strategic way brands can drive more sales via Instagram


5. The Power of Social Sharing & User-Generated Content

The power of social sharing and the amplification of user-generated content should not be underestimated in the process to take your consumers along the path to purchase. It is at its most effective when combined with creative location run promos the organic reach it provides has the ability to target new audiences who in turn share the content with their friends.  

Quite simply authentic content created by raving fans is the best type of advertising any brand can get, however, to promote onsite sharing It’s important to create the right environment -If you want your customers to post and create content about your brand, you have to provide the right conditions for a content generation. The most obvious thing is not only to make sure your brand is visible, but you also have to create something to talk about.

For example, by creating a simple ‘win an outfit’ promo a retailer could help drive sales of a new clothes range where the audience is attracted in-store to try out the new range via social with a upload a photo mechanic to enter the contest.

Not only would this have the benefit of promoting in-store visits of people to try on items they might not normally consider purchasing but it would:

  • Generate viral spread as people could have to tag their friends to submit a valid entry and,
  • produce user-generated content of the brands product line to people’s social networks, promoting awareness and sales of the new range in an authentic and engaging way.

The Social Location Marketing Consumer Journey

The Wrap 

As the internet of things takes hold and geo-social data on connected devices becomes more commonplace this will only serve to increase the expectations consumers have of receiving real-time, relevant and targeted messages and offers.

So rather than develop and market a custom application or manage a beacon installation, marketers can easily piggyback off of user behavior and adoption of social networks and look to leverage a new breed of social location marketing tools to listen and engage with.  

The challenge today for brands marketing to the social mobile generation is to be more creative and combine that creativity with technology to provide a more personalized, experience that helps shape the consumer path to purchase.   


If you would like to find out more about social location marketing for your brand, please contact us at hello@evolvesocial.com.au.

 

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