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Last year location-based applications started popping up everywhere and had everyone speculating. 2009 was the year that location applications became user-friendly and widely available. Networks like Foursquare offer real time location information and larger networks like Facebook and Twitter are starting to include their own location-sharing features. What does this mean for businesses?
Unlocking the power of location can give many businesses a boost. Foursquare and now Google Buzz allows its users to “check-in” at various locations and recommend activities, nearby businesses, or local products to other users. This serves as free viral advertising and can be very effective. Twitter has started offering a location feature as well. You can choose a location for a profile, which helps other Twitter users find it. Also, simply submitting your business to local search engines makes sure your business appears when customers are looking. Another way to use location to better your business is to segment email communication by location in order to provide relevant information to your customers. Gathering location data about your customers can help avoid high unsubscribe rates resulting from sending irrelevant information.
One final tip: Stay informed. New location applications and features will continue to roll out. There are plenty of great blogs and news sites available that stay up to date on tech trends. Learning about new location applications and features is the only way to start using them!