While some “mature” consumers may question the appeal of Facebook’s Places application – the program that allows a user to “check in” and let friends or others know where they are at any given time – savvy marketers see the application as a great way to reach a highly desirable demographic.
Places largely appeals to a younger crowd. Since it can only be used by those with a Facebook app on their smart phones, it eliminates many traditional consumers.
However, for companies attempting to reach the elusive younger crowd, those who spend little time listening to the radio, reading mailers or newspapers, or clipping coupons, these location based applications may become a gold mine.
If the customer is willing to allow a business to view their location, nearby businesses can instantly offer coupons or deal, grabbing the consumer at the point of making a purchase decision.
Businesses could also make offers to friends of those who check in, encouraging them to join their friends at a particular location and make a purchase.
Facebook has already announced its intention to allow restaurants and other retail locations to “claim” their locations. This would allow them to direct targeted advertising to frequent customers.
Need some ideas for some virtual offers you can make on location Facebook Places? John Jantsch at http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2010/09/07/5-ways-for-small-businesses-to-get-in-the-location-game/ has some ideas for using rewards programs, group buying, coupons via Goodle places, mobile coupon networks, or social location games to bring customers into your door.
With only a fraction of Facebook’s users even tuned into Places, you certainly don’t want to make it your primary source for advertising. But with a growing number of younger consumers “checking in,” you don’t want to ignore it, either.