title=”LBE 101 – Ready or Not, Here it Comes”>LBE 101 – Ready or Not, Here it Comes
Is your business ready for LBE? Not even sure what LBE stands for? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! As a social media management agency that routinely addresses the need for cutting edge research, part of our daily duty is to keep readers informed about the latest and greatest social media marketing options. To that effect LBE is a game-changer..or at least it will be once everyone else catches on. In the meantime, NOW is the time to position your business to take advantage of what will become a completely new way of doing business. Think our claim is a bit out of the ordinary? Keep reading to learn why this once in a lifetime opportunity is likely to make or break business for years to come.
LBE or Location Based Engagement has had a few false starts. In the earliest stage, business owners really weren’t sure what to do with the new technology…and neither were fans. Yes, it was rather fun to let others know that you were dining at that new hot spot in town (in real time) but beyond that, location based marketing didn’t really manage to take off. Part of the problem was technical limitation and lack of market penetration rates; despite high levels of cell phone usage, Smartphones were still in the minority. Other problems also plagued early location based engagement initiatives including the lack of adoption rates, social media and so forth. Today all that has changed. Now Location Based Engagement is not only ready for prime time but growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, it is changing the very way people think about a business…even a traditional brick and mortar business.
New Business Era
Today’s savvy shoppers not only peruse reviews online but barely leave the house without their Smartphone. Increasingly, shopping is something performed across a variety of channels (via tablet while watching television, mobile comparisons while in the store and online) and venues. In fact, the lines between the virtual world and the real word are beginning to blur in the mind of many consumers; not because they cannot distinguish reality from the virtual world but because the online presence is increasingly viewed as an essential extension of the physical location. How much of an extension? Sufficient to warrant its very own concept of “place”.
New Places & Spaces
In the modern era, a “business” is more than just a location. Indeed, it is a compilation of products and services, experiences and expectations. The virtual aspect of social media, mobile and local marketing are increasingly viewed as necessary extensions of the physical presence of a traditional brick and mortar location. For example, let’s use a small local boutique as an example. The boutique has been in business for 10 years with a physical location based in town. The address and phone number are well known among traditional shoppers who stop in occasionally. What is less known – but just as permanent – is the latitude and longitude of the location. Yes, notably dry sounding but an equally important bit of information especially in a location based engagement era. On the flip side, we have the virtual extension of this business including the ‘brand’ (ie, a construct) as well as virtual venues including major social media outlets like Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. These extensions to both the physical (location based longitude and latitude) and virtual (social media sites) are both accessible via mobile Smartphones.
As we reported in last week’s article, SoLoMo is making tremendous inroads for those who are properly prepared (and our client are!). Location based data is fixed in much the same way that the actual building is permanent but that is increasingly overshadowed by the importance of social in the equation. Engaged consumers don’t just check into a business but share that status with friends, provide important reviews and build brands which are then associated with a specific place and location.
As good as all that sounds, it is only a drop in the bucket compared to things to come. Not only is LBE increasingly viewed as a necessary extension to the existing physical location of a business but for the very first time ever, brands and business owners are able to merge social engagement to offline activity. By activating the point of sale/POS data directly with users locations, business owners are increasing ROI, expanding reach and optimizing performance like never before. Best of all, Location Based Engagement is organic in the most exciting sense of the word; clients are actively engaged, become brand advocates (and buyers) and best of all, when properly established with the right metrics, social media managers are able to provide unparalleled insight into the habits and trends of shoppers.
So, is your business ready for the next era of social media marketing? If not, what are you waiting for? It’s time to position your business for success by beginning to implement local social search and mobile marketing applications. Be sure your business can be found, optimize your site for mobile, integrate one of the most cost effective local social search options possible thanks to Google+ and start reaping the rewards. If you aren’t sure where to get started, take a few minutes to speak with your social media manager to day. It’s easier than you might think to get in on the ground floor of something big…and thanks to the organic nature of LBE, it costs a lot less than you might imagine!