For extreme introverts the great thing about social media is that you never have to see your connections in real life. But for people who like to actually interact with people face-to-face, as well as the businesses that seek to get people in a physical door, that can actually be a shortcoming. Location-aware social media can bridge that gap between the virtual and physical.
Location awareness is what distinguishes the Locye social media platform. It allows users to “observe social activity at real-time hotspots and places of interest worldwide” and to post content that those nearby can see. For those who don’t want to give too much away, there is an option to post anonymously. Users can also select whether they want their posts kept up for just a day or for a virtual eternity.
Locye’s Founder and CEO, Sajjad Mustehsan, discussed the platform’s potential for marketing with me. He said that it “will soon be offering business-to-consumer marketing capabilities” with three defining characteristics:
1. New types of location-based ads
As “Locye is a location-based social media platform where all user interactions and content have a geographic element,” Mustehsan explained, “our marketing engine will be able to leverage our unique capabilities of extremely quick and precise analysis and delivery of location-based content to offer new types of location-based ads and other content for marketers.”
While they can include “traditional radius or polygon based ads,” the kind that retailers draw on to get the attention of shoppers passing nearby, Locye goes beyond that. Tapping into the power of AR, Locye can “precisely guide interested shoppers to the exact location of where the product is physically located within the store,” which effectively helps the customer save time and more likely make the purchase then if s/he gets frustrated in trying to find a particular item.
2. Precise ad targeting
Social media marketing efforts don’t always result in the ROI people would like to see. Mustehsan identifies a major cause of the problem of ineffective targeting as the fact that “most social media platforms rely on user-entered information, their browsing and usage histories, and imprecise estimates of their location — all three of which could be inaccurate and be non-representative of the user’s actual interests” or budget.
It’s quite possible that the person who looks over the car offerings from Bugatti, Ferrari or Lamborghini will never have the mean to purchase one. Locye counters the false impression individuals can create from their search history by contextualizing it with other data.
“By leveraging our expertise in fusing demographic and place data with anonymized logs and then applying artificial intelligence to the resulting dataset, our marketing engine will be able to precisely ‘paint’ a picture of the consumer’s current and past interests, capabilities, and what segment of the community tapestry to which they belong.” That highly accurate pictures forms the basis of “very precise ad targeting which provides a better ROI for the marketer and an improved experience for the end-user as they will only be seeing marketing content that” appeals to their taste, position, and purchasing abilities.
That precision in targeting would lead to more effective marketing. Mustehsan suggests the possibility of “a high-end resort being able to precisely show its ad at around dinner time to high-income consumers that are currently taking a road trip, are heading in the direction of the resort, and are less than 30 minutes away.”
3. Private label and co-branding opportunities
Just about every business offers its own app these days. Though they require a significant investment of both time and money, in effect, “most of these apps offer the same content and capabilities to the end user as their existing websites” and don’t really add any “marketing benefit,” Mustehsan observes. Instead of trying to do it themselves, they can “leverage Locye’s capabilities of gathering, analyzing, and delivering location-based content.”
To illustrate how that would work, he explained, “an amusement park could” use its identification of users “currently within the perimeter of their facility” to send out “targeted content” for the park in general or the various establishment that operate within it. On one level, they could send out general promotions for the park or coupons for the refreshments sold in it. It could get even more precise, though, offering information about the wait times for particular rides so people know what they’re in for and can plan their visit out more efficiently.
That level of real time information is a big boon for marketing at the moment of decision, but it also has value beyond that. “Locye would be able to provide real-time analytics on what parts of the park are seeing the most crowds, how long patrons are willing to wait for an attraction before moving on to others, etc.” That provides data-driven insight for “managerial and marketing decisions” in planning.
In effect, then, the marketers win twice: both when targeting people within the location, and when planning their strategy for future growth.