Tag Archives: location based services

YP Is A Surprise Leader in Mobile Advertising

5663152018_d6f3ca5060YP, formerly AT&T Interactive, released a press announcement that in 2012 it earned over $350milion in revenue from its mobile advertising exchange. The firm then proclaimed that was the second largest mobile advertiser in the industry. That is probably not true as Facebook should be the number two spot after Google. However the size of the revenue is shocking and it does point to YP as a potential serious contender.

This is good news for the digital public relations firm. Mobile advertising will be a future place for growth and having the options limited to Google and Facebook should give some firms pause. The two are often not in competition so the agency is not able to play one firm’s pricing structure off of the other. Another contender to play off of Google will help the digital public relations firms control prices. This is important to help encourage new clients take the leap into mobile advertising. It is also important to note that YP does use geotargeting methods, so it is on the cusp of the new methods.

YP: Our Mobile Ad Network Second Only To Google

Photo by Majiscup – The Papercup & Sleeve

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Google Glass Will Have An API But Not Ads

1683ddddb27f219249be77f1dae80b38_cGoogle Glass is the project that will create a set of eyeglasses that display Google fed   information into the eyes of users. They will similar to apps that use a smartphone’s app to display information on top of a picture of the surroundings.

Today the head of the project announced that the eyewear will have an API, but will not come with advertising. That is good news for search engine optimization services because it makes the information seem more organic and more likely to be important to the viewer. A Facebook app plugging into the API would help the viewer see places recommended by friends, or placing receiving favorable marks from people checking in. It need not be limited to Facebook as Yelp and Foursquare could also benefit from these displays.

An example of the application could be a user walking down the street. Whenever a place comes into view that a viewer’s friend has checked into then the Google Glass will signal by displaying the review or the check in. The options are limitless and will help clue social media interactions into a more assertive mobile device and presence.


Google Glass Launch: Will Have An API, Won’t Have Ads


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Foursquare Updates iOS App

Foursquare added the Explore function to its website a few months ago. It took all of the data from check ins andreviews and then began to serve up suggestions to users based on where friends go and what is highly rated. Today the service has announced a new change to how it offers recommendations to users on iOS devices. The service is now more location aware and will recommend places nearby that the user has not been to in a while or are places highly recommended by friends. This is part of a new trend of location aware apps that will offer only a few recommendations instead of offering a catalog of options nearby.

The social media agency needs to be on top of this. If a user consults Foursquare and is told to go back to a certain pizza place, then they are likely to do that. The social media agency needs to make sure its clients are well served on the service so they are likely to be made as the recommendation. There is not too much that can be done to gin up the rankings, but there are some commons sense approaches. Businesses need to be reminding customers to check in on the service. Businesses should also suggest only one check in service, too many options and the customer may not do any. Foursquare does offer specials and discounts, so the social media agency could run some promotions to encourage users to visit places and check in. that is probably the single best method to take. Maybe offer a deeper discount if people share their check in other social media services like FaceBook or Twitter.

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Yelp Adds Menus and Collated Photos

Yelp announced on Friday that it is adding menus to its list of options when a user is looking at a specific restaurant. Now the user will be able to call up the menu and look at it as a tool to decide where to go. Some of Yelp’s competitors have already done this so Yelp is improving the service by collating uploaded pictures of food from Yelp users to the items on the menu. This feature is being implemented at the same time on the Yelp website and on Yelp’s mobile apps.

The social media agency needs to make sure its clients are utilizing all of these features. Not only do people want to see the menu options before they arrive, but allowing them to see uploaded pictures of the food creates a sense of security. Any restaurant can upload its own photogenic pictures, but seeing actual orders uploaded helps the customer better know what to expect. This change will probably affect how restaurants handle their menu creation (aiming for more photogenic foods) and the service levels. This change now helps move the social media agency into a quality control role, which is important because customers will do it without any advocate for the restaurant regardless.

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Foursquare Updates Mobile App Again

Not too long ago Foursquare announced a new app for mobile devices. The app was streamlined and faster and now Foursquare is announcing that it has updated its app again to make it even faster and more streamlined. This app also introduces a couple of other new changes. There are now personalized search categories to make it easier for the user to find what she is most likely looking for. The new app also makes it easier to save places to lists as well as to see only previously visited places as well as places visited by friends. The new app is compatible with iOS 6 and is also optimized to take better advantage of the new iPhone 5.

In a world where Apple Maps has credibility issues for helping the user find businesses, this update will help users find businesses. The social media agency can see this as an opportunity to not only appeal to Foursquare users but also an opportunity to recruit new users into the social service. The updated app does not require any additional effort from the social media agency, but should increase the number of people that return to the service as well as the frequency they use the network. It is a valuable resource for the business as a way to attract customers.

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Twitter Now Allows Targeted Tweets

Twitter has been actively pursuing new options for advertisers. As well as creating
new types of interest targeting Twitter has now announced another option.
Advertisers are now able to target users based on their locations. The locations can
range from country down to certain metro areas. This geo-targeting can also be
linked into other targeting options, so it is possible for an advertiser to target a user
that likes professional wrestling in a certain neighborhood of Tokyo.

Increasingly Twitter is coming online as a viable alternative to FaceBook for the
social media agency. This new step will make ads on Twitter more effective. The
ads will become more expensive as their effectiveness increases, but that value is
something each particular social media agency and its client will need to determine.
In time there will be reports about the effectiveness of these new Twitter ads relative
to other social networks, especially as numbers about FaceBook’s new exchange are
just starting to come out.

A note of caution about this announcement needs to be injected. Twitter has not yet
released a list of its major metropolitan areas, so it may not yet be a major boon to
some advertisers. An example of this issue is in California where the San Francisco
crowd is very different from the LA crowd. Twitter has also not yet announced if it is
relying on profiles for location data or if there is an active tracking of geo-locations
when people tweet. Will a person from Detroit visiting New York receive NYC or
Detroit ads? More details are sure to follow.

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Location Tagging Is Increasing

One of the main concerns for the use of location tagging is a privacy concern. While some take that concern very seriously, six in ten social posts for 2012’s Q2 were location tagged and only 24% of the people engaging in this behavior were not aware it was happening. More proof of the intentionality of the service is that it is trending as expected along demographic lines. The younger the user, then the more likely she is to tag her location to posts. For the under 24-age group 75% of users tagged their locations. The percentage drops to 44% for the group of users 55 years old and older, but that is the only group to dip below the 50% watermark.

A couple of things are happening that speak to the social media agency. The concern about posting a person’s location for security reasons is dwindling. Even if security is not an issue, there is a growing trend of people’s willingness to post where they are. The social media agency can use this by encouraging people to tag their clients’ locations in posts. The other trend that is demonstrated in this data is the increasing availability of wi-fi and/or the willingness of people to post when on mobile devices. It is already well-established people use mobiles to search but an increasing willingness to post also helps brands that advertise online.


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Local SEO and the Social Media Influence

The data Google+ Local draws on to make its recommendations is large and extensive. What is currently missing, however, is a tie into most social media. Google+ Local does not know if that Dave & Busters is highly ranked by a user’s friends or not, unless those friends wrote reviews that Google has access to. Because of this the social media agency needs to work within the channels Google+ Local does draw from.

Selena Narayanaamy, the Director of Strategy Development at BlueGlass Interactive, sees that gap in Google’s rankings closing in the near future. This will relieve some of the burdens on the social media agency because their work will then have an increasingly important place in the local search environment.

Local search will soon draw upon FaceBook check-ins and data posted about locations to FaceBook. Other services will also tap into FaceBook, so even if Google does not have direct access it will still sniff some of the data from other cooperating services like Gowalla and Foursquare. Another useful feature will be geo-tagging. Even if a tweet is not about a location, if it is tagged in a certain location, then Google can use that data to signal some traffic.

To account for this increasingly large data pool, the social media agency will need to corroborate data. Making sure that geo-tagged videos are given the correct location will become important. Making sure the name of the business lines up across the services will be important.


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Local Business Directories Are Error Filled

In April Implied Intelligence, a data service provider, conducted a study that measured for accuracy the listings 1,000 independent local businesses across 19 local search providers and directories. The 19 providers included the usual suspects such as Yelp, Bing, Google Maps, and Foursquare. There were also some less well known ones like Superpages, DexKnows and YellowPages. The results were quite surprising.

The same study was conducted in early June and the results were then compared. The most improved service was Bing. Bing ranked fourth in April and now stands at third. YellowPages and Superpages remain the most accurate sites—YellowPages ranked second in April but is now the most accurate site—and Google Maps is the loser of the top four, falling to fourth in the current rankings.

The lesson for the social media agency is not necessarily clear. Foursquare had the most incomplete data set, but that is also because Foursquare depends upon user input, which limits it to certain business types. Foursquare also provides a different sort of interaction with the business than Superpages does. What is important for the social media agency, however, is to continually check up on the listings for accuracy. There are rumors, as yet unsubstantiated so it may just be urban myth, that some businesses will altar the data of a competitor to be false thus driving traffic to its business.

Even if the source of error is not conspiracy, vigilance remains important for when confirming data. This study shows that even though progress is being made by most of the services, there is still error that will remain undiscovered without outside prompting.


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Facebook Buys Gowalla


Gowalla is a location-based sharing service and it used to be similar to, even competed with, Foursquare. Foursquare developed and improved its service, whereas Gowalla seemed content with its 15,000,000 user base and was quickly surpassed by Foursquare. Apparently Gowalla was not quite dead, as Facebook has bought the service and is relocating it to Facebook’s Palo Alto campus.

Gowalla’s unique function had been allowing users to leave virtual goods for other users in certain locations. Checking in would allow these virtual goods to be transferred. Gowalla abandoned that feature and sought a more storytelling like environment. It’s that storytelling focus which makes them a fit for Facebook’s new Timeline feature. Facebook is hoping to better narratize user’s lives and Gowalla must have some technical features to help with that goal. It is possible that Facebook is sticking to their old tricks and purchasing the startup as a way to improve its engineering bench with more talent.

For the digital marketing agency this move will only bring changes in the future. For now Timeline is still on the immediate horizon. This acquisition might improve Timeline but does not seem to offer any changes significant enough to alter plans a firm may have for Timeline. It is very unlikely, though, that this acquisition will not improve Timeline, even if it was merely to increase the talent pool of Facebook’s employees.


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