Jessica Miller-Merrell | , ,| By
Just this last weekend I visited my hometown of Google, Kansas (AKA, Topeka). I caught up with family and friends while squeezing some time in for a little business. Throughout our whirlwind weekend, we drove from place to place, and I made sure to check into Four Square and Gowalla every chance I could. Why? Because just like any social networking site, it’s about sharing and being present where-ever and whenever you are.
The term geolocation refers to an application that allows the user to broadcast their location using the internet. These apps are available on mobile devices like your blackberry, android, iphone, and even the world wide web. Registered users log into an application like Four Square and check into their physical location, event, or venue while broadcasting their check-in to their friends, social media networks, and those on the internet.
Another feature similar to geolocation now available on the popular micro-blogging site, Twitter is called geotagging. Geotagging allows Twitter users the option to share their location to their followers, search engines, and other third party tools that work alongside Twitter. As social media and sites like Twitter and FaceBook have served as conduits to link users with one another across the global, geo brings the focus back to your local and present community. Users of all three of these tools have access to local and real time trends, information, and people whether you are a long time resident or just passing through.
But why personal branding?
Geo tools present an new and exciting way for users to network, develop relationships, engage a customer base, and build a brand within a niche community or ecosystem. Building a brand reputation, recognition, or relationship takes time and touches. Customers want to do business with a brand who is recognizable and has a solid reputation built on recommendations from trusted sources like friends and family. And with your personal brand, geolocation and tagging tools are another new facet of the marketing and branding package that sets you apart from the rest.
Blogging, Twitter, and FaceBook–Everybody’s doing it.
Imagine that you frequent a number of local businesses near your home or work and you happen to be the mayor of two nearby coffee shops, PT’s Coffee (locally owned) and Starbucks (global chain). As mayor of both these locations, your profile picture and name are viewable to everyone who checks into the location as well as your network. Tools like these increase your exposure and number of touches among potential companies, clients, employers, or even website visitors. As you check in, you are sending a subtle but targeted reminder of your name or brand. And because customers of coffee shops like Starbucks’s average household income is in excess of $80,00 and are 42 years old, it is safe to assume that many target customers work in high level and decision maker type positions or are influential and connected within the community. Surely the kind of people you are interested in being connected with and getting top know, right?
As geolocation tools like Four Square become more mainstream with more than 500k registered users in March 2010, it’s a safe bet that a geo presence will only benefit your personal brand by increasing your brand recognition, strengthen relationships and quite possibly drive traffic to your website and your other social profiles.
Learn more about Gelocation Recruiting and Sourcing Strategies here.