Ever have a nagging feeling only to find “definitive facts” that shoot your feeling down? Here’s the deal: companies are always looking for new ways to make money, buy advertising and reign supreme. Of the larger brands in the US, McDonald’s is a ferocious beast. Who else would try to take on Starbucks at their own game?
So imagine a staple of Online Media at the center of a swirl of rumors. Facebook was rumored to start geo-location support. It’s been the nerd talk for 2010: geo-location. Sites like Foursquare and Gowalla are leading the way. But just like Twitter, Facebook seemed poised to announce a new geo-location feature for accounts. With a huge user base, Facebook could easily put Foursquare and Gowalla on the path to shut down.
Facebook’s big developer conference ended without squat about geo-location. Then yesterday, the advertising world was buzzing about McDonald’s and Facebook. Turns out McDonald’s will be the launch advertiser to use Facebook’s upcoming geo-location feature. Check in at a McDonald’s and get a free fries or something. Can you imagine being enticed to show your phone the next time you order a Big Mac?
I’ve been hesitant to mention geo-location until this very moment. Mainly because if you’re not in New York City, maybe 5,000 people are using either Foursquare or Gowalla. On top of that, there was no clear leader between the two. No reason to invest in the idea until now. The moment Facebook launches it’s time for every company or business to analyze implementation to their media strategies.
Rewarding people for sharing their patronage with friends is network marketing making things happen. “Free” advertising for minimal cost. Chipotle still engages in a similar form of “free” network advertising. At locations near college campuses, Chipotle would offer free burritos on Saturday. What college kid gives up a free lunch? Chipotle would spread the word a bit and before you knew it, college kids loved Chipotle. They loved it so much Chipotle has an entire college campus marketing division.
With the impending launch of geo-location on Facebook, I don’t recommend panicking. It’s ok to get an extra cup of coffee and visit sites like Foursquare. Just don’t feel overwhelmed quite yet. It is the weekend in a few hours after all.
The potential from this news is extraordinary. It will also quell any detractors out there as well. It is very clear that McDonald’s is getting this unique privilege from a very large media buy. The full details are not clear but in what will sure be a big splash, McDonald’s will help transform Online Media trends.
For the average small business there might be a learning curve. That’s expected. Considering that you want people to visit your business you will probably catch on quickly. Sending “Check-In” promotions to friends who hopefully then visit and “Check-In” themselves. From there their friends see where they “Checked-In” and love the promotion so they show up and “Check-In.” After that it gets quite cyclical and the potential becomes beyond incredible.
Have you already been having fun with Foursquare or Gowalla? Let me know! I’ve been trying it out myself a bit under a pseudonym and it can get addicting fast!
Have a fantastic weekend and I look forward to seeing you here again on Monday!
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