Location-based services, such as Foursquare and Gowalla, are proving quite popular with consumers open to sharing their locations with the world. They’re also built to be inherently business-friendly, as most allow retailers to incentivize checkins and social sharing behaviors in the hopes of attracting swarms of patrons to their businesses.
As the space continues to evolve, new platforms, technologies and services are emerging with the specific intention of helping small businesses reward their loyal patrons with deals for their in-store behaviors.
Summary of location-based social media marketing services available for businesses looking to take advantage of mobile location-based marketing, checkins, barcode scanning & group buying:
1. Verified Checkin Rewards – SCVNGR http://scvngr.com/
2. Social Barcodes – Bakodo.com iPhone app can scan most barcodes. Stickybits.com and Shopkick.com integrate social experience w/ barcode scanning
3. Group Deals – Groupon.com LivingSocial.com , OpenTable, Yelp.com , Zagat.com all offer group deal services to businesses. GroupTabs.com
combines group buying with checkins.
4. Challenge-Based Rewards – SCVNGR.com, Foursquare.com, Gowalla.com offer challenge based rewards allowing businesses to decide what rewards to offer and reward criteria.
5. OPt-in Deals – Bizzy.com is a go-between for businesses and local consumers — it allows businesses to upload deals and consumers to create a list of businesses they want to hear from.