We’re firm believers in the power of good ideas and greater insights. As such, we want to help your business — no matter the size, no matter the reach — collect the right data and transform it into smart, well-targeted local marketing campaigns.
Knowing your customers and having the right numbers leads to informed decisions, which can help businesses win over their competitors during the most make-or-break retail periods of the year, as well as in a more general, anytime sense.
This trusty article will provide you tips and other useful info on how to collect and make sense of insights from Foursquare, Bing, Facebook, Google My Business and Snapchat. Here, you’ll find the most salient points to keep in mind (and keep in your bookmarks tab) when building your business’s marketing campaigns, but it’s also a good place to start if you’re just getting a solid grasp on data and social media and local directories for the first time.
Let’s get started!
1. Foursquare’s wealth of data can put your local campaigns in the right place.
Any way you look at the numbers, Foursquare is an excellent indicator of where to find potential customers and is definitely not something to be slept on. As of publishing this article, the most recent stats available reveal that Foursquare has compiled 50 million active monthly users, 87 million tips and 12 billion check-ins (location notifications) in just a handful of years of existence.
People are always out exploring neighborhoods and cities (their own and otherwise) for great products, great services and amazing deals — these numbers show, however, that people are also inspired to make it known by checking in on Foursquare. If all that data is already sitting out there, waiting to be harvested, why not get your business’s metaphorical hands on it!
No matter what your business specializes in, here are three things to consider when to take full advantage of Foursquare’s insights:
Create as many individualized campaigns for each location as possible. If your business operates from more than one place, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have the exact same demographics for each of them. Even if the differences are slight, you need to take them into account. Foursquare might be telling you, for example, that you’re getting more check-ins from Millennials at one location and more from people aged 35–45 at another. Some users might post tips on certain services at one location and different services at another. Keep your insights as local as possible, learn what each location likes, and cater to it.
Let those who check in help you populate your content. People love to post photos and videos without even being told — so imagine what can happen if you give them the right occasion. To quote Field of Dreams: “Build it and they will come!” Giving your patrons as many opportunities as possible will help you create an endless trove of user-generated content that can be repurposed (with permission, of course) to promote your business whenever the time is right. Whether you’re hosting a special guest, you’ve got a custom photo-booth or backdrop for a special event, or you’re just in possession of something Instagram-worthy, the chances are ripe to develop content without even lifting a finger.
People love to travel — and travelers love to check in. Some of the most popular locations for Foursquare check-ins are airports. Once users land in new cities around the world, many have a tendency to open the app and make it known (read: show off) where they are right away. Once out of the airport, those same individuals lean on Foursquare to give them quick hits of info as they venture into the city. Take every opportunity you can get to guide out-of-towners in your city (neighbourhood, even) towards your business by using visitor data to your advantage. Once they arrive, make sure you have a special promotion ready to welcome them.
2. Think Bing (because your competitors probably don't).
Everyone might be all “Google this and Google that” most hours of the day, and with very good reason — but Microsoft’s counterpart, Bing, has proven that it can hold its own in the search engine game. In fact, if your business fits the right profile, Bing can give you an advantage that many overlook.
Bing isn’t as irrelevant as many peg it to be — and that might be just enough of a reason to weave it into your local marketing campaign. As of August 2017, Bing made up close to 33% of all searches in the US, with almost 71% of its audience clocking in at 35 years and older, and 46% of users earning over $75,000 per year. Long story short, this means there’s a significant amount of Bing searchers with money in prime spending years.
Step number one on your newfound Bing journey is to take care of your local listings. Claim all of your locations, get verified and make sure all info entered (name, address, hours, phone numbers, etc.) is as current as possible. Don’t forget to track your listings to make sure your results are always accurate.
Also, be sure to always keep Bing’s demographic in mind. Unlike when you use Google, you aren’t casting as wide of a net, so knowing your search base is key. If you know your demographics (e.g., age, location, income, etc.) inside and out, and have something you can offer right away, you can start planning immediately for when they pay you a visit.
3. Staying ahead of the competition on Facebook is all in the numbers.
Once a simple online meeting place for college students, Facebook is now a media behemoth that raked in almost $10.142 billion in ad revenue just in Q3 2017 and has 2.072 billion monthly active global users. Pretty impressive for over a decade’s worth of growth.
As one might imagine, competition among marketers on Facebook is fierce. Conjuring up highly engaging content to try and win — but also stay relevant — in the Facebook battle is about as mandatory of a thing as it gets. That’s why planning highly strategic, location-specific marketing campaigns powered by the right info is the only way to give your business a shot at being head and shoulders above the rest.
There are five main sets of data you’ll need to gain valuable Facebook insights: demographic info (age, income, etc.), your total number of follows/unfollows, shared content clicks, page visits, and post reach (the total number of individuals who’ve viewed any given thing online). Backed by these numbers for each of your business’s locations, campaigns can be built around specific promotions suit to each demographic that engages with your page.
As an example, say your business delves in home renovation and your shoppers are mostly 35–45 years of age according to Facebook’s data. You could then easily run lookalike campaigns (ones that specifically targets groups of people that fit your strongest demographics) to target new customers anywhere your store is located.
Marketing on Facebook can be done with relative ease. With the right stats on your side and full attention paid to the types of content your audience enjoys, creativity in how you execute your campaigns can take you a long way. Whether your followers enjoy photos, videos, text, infographics or something else, there’s no shortage of options available.
4. Google My Business truly is the engine that can drive your success.
We consider ourselves experts over here, but there’s little we can say about Google’s domination of the global search pie that these numbers don’t already say. With all due respect to Bing and what they’ve been able to accomplish running second place, Google eclipses any competitor that comes near it and society’s reliance on them is apparent, just in the way we use “Google” as a verb replacement for the word “search” alone.
To ensure success with Google, there are two critical analytics you’ll need to get started: how the people visiting your website found you, and where this traffic originated from.
First, the “how.” Imagine you live in Los Angeles and you own a small sneaker boutique. Here are some questions you might, understandably, ask yourself about people seeking you out:
What were the search terms that brought my business up? Was it something like “best shoe store in LA,” or was it more general, like “best shoe store” and the searcher was hoping Google would detect they were from LA? Was it an organic search or a link from another website? Did the paid ads from my campaign appear in front of them? Was my location info up to date?
There’s likely a dozen other good questions to ask in this scenario, but already many of the right ones are being brought up.
Regarding ads, if you’re converting searchers, you know they’re working effectively. As with other directories mentioned in this article, making sure your info (name, address, hours, phone number, etc.) is as flawless as possible for local customers means they’re bound to find you. Also, if your store comes up among the “best in LA” or even just the “best,” the content you’re putting out into the world is worth the time and effort you’ve put in, as it’s manage to obtain a high ranking despite Google’s notoriously difficult-to-please algorithms.
Mainly, you’ll want to keep an eye out for discrepancies. Do you have a high volume of search traffic, but not a ton of success with paid ads or keywords (words that trigger sponsored ads for your company)? If the gap is significant enough, it might be time to consider changing course.
Now, the “where.” Continuing with the above scenario, are you noticing lots of search traffic on the west coast, but not a lot on the other side of the country? The answer to this question — and many more like it — can act as the basis to help you predict which of your stores will garner the most foot traffic and which won’t, so you can make adjustments for certain locations as necessary.
If you’re trying to boost your traffic in a city with a high competition rate, increasing your investment into AdWords (i.e., paid keywords) could be the way to ensure you’re capitalizing on “micro-moments” (moments in which potential customers are set on making a purchase) and converting more local searchers into buyers than your competitors.
Once a clear pattern between high search volume and heavy foot traffic emerges, pinpoint which locations will likely be overflowing with foot traffic and test out some new local campaign elements there, like creating and advertising your own Snapchat Geofilter (a photo or video filter that allows you promote an event or business in a given area)
5. Gain stronger insights into younger shoppers with Snapchat.
Since we’ve breached the subject, adding Snapchat Geofilters to a local marketing campaign is an excellent idea if assuming you haven’t already. That is, provided you’re trying to appeal to the right demographics.
Though misconceptions exist about Snapchat being used almost exclusively by teenages, Snapchat’s user base, in fact, is made up of 301 million monthly active users, among which 71% are younger than 34, and 43% in North America check in for at least half an hour per day, collectively viewing nearly 10 billion snaps within that 24-hour period. Here’s the kicker: 76% of Snapchat users also shop online, meaning there’s a wealth of information out there about the buying habits of the current generation for your business to put to good use.
Among Snapchat’s more useful features, the handiest is, perhaps, the Geofilter. Aside from the fact that it’s a fun way for Gen-Z and Millennial audiences to engage with your business, it also provides you with a new alternative to bring people to your store and actively participate in the experience you create.
That’s a lot to take in. What should I do first?
Planning, creating and marketing campaigns on different social platforms can be daunting, but that’s why we’re here to help! Begin with the platform that makes most sense to you, and that will help you get a better sense of what to do and what you need from others. Remind yourself throughout the process that mining all this data will pay off with smarter, more highly targeted and — most importantly — successful campaigns.