Geo Location, Foursquare, and Adoption for Business

One of the things I have been testing lately is geo location search. I see this as one of the ultimate ways to connect with people.

Looking for a towing company, why not pick the closest? Looking to change your oil for your car, wouldn’t it be nice to see the local places that offer coupons or good deals?

This is one of the promises of GEO location based search. It works at times but often times it doesn’t.

An annoying thing I have seen for quite a while but has started to recently really bother me are the GEO targeting ads, such as:

St Paul mom loses XX pounds.

Maple Grove Dad makes a fortune

I can’t help but think that these are going to start lose effectiveness, mainly because they don’t deliver on the promise and it’s getting easier and easier for people to see through this.

What About Grandma?

But does this get Grandma off her chair? (Yes great change in direction)

I was listening to a talk the other day, and I don’t remember who to attribute it too but he mentioned that when something goes mainstream is when Grandma in the midwest simply clicks the ON button and things start to happen. She gets the information or gets the service she is looking for. She doesn’t have to think about it.

I would have to agree here.

The latest darling of the GEO location based craze is FourSquare.

Applications like FourSquare are nice but to break through the novelty and to have a strong impact it has to offer more than just a check in and badges. Game mechanics in a social network can only take you so far. I find it tough to justify to a business that any one over 30 is going to be heavy users of Foursquare.

This doesn’t mean that businesses should ignore it… it falls into what I like to say is Tactics of social engagement. It’s one of the tools you use to interact with your customers.

You first evaluate, create metrics to track the success, and implment. Part of that implemenation is finding out what works and adapting. But as with social media this shouldn’t be looked at as the holy grail of interaction.

That’s my thoughts for today.