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Google tries to take on FourSquare

D
o you have a go-to restaurant you love – a place where everybody knows your name? If you’ve been checking in there from Google Latitude in Google Maps for Android, we want to help you get a little extra love right back. After launching check-ins for Latitude last month, today we’re rolling out our first check-in offers at more than 60 great places in Austin, Texas.

Checking in from Google Latitude lets you easily share the places you go with friends, and you can even choose to get check-in notifications or automatically check in to make it even easier. In addition to sharing places, you can also gain status as a “Regular”, “VIP”, or “Guru” at places depending on how often you’ve checked in there. You can even see your progress along the way by tapping your current status. I’ve been checking in almost everywhere I go, and after a steady stream of caffeination at my favorite coffee shop, I’m proud to be a Guru there!

FourSquare 3.0 busts out !

Foursquare 3.0” announced !

Includes a great ‘Consumer Recommendations‘ feature -  “Explore”  and a range of new specials / loyalty mechanisms for merchants and with it they’ve really revised the way users will interact and find venues – and because of that SMB’s have the ability to benefit more than ever before.

Firstly some quick Foursquare stats

Foursquare is nearing 7.5 Million users worldwide, 93% of them have joined in the last year. In that same year, there have been 500 Million check-ins. All signs are that FourSquare is becoming more fashionable here in the UK, so don’t get left behind, as I have said on this blog before Its not too late to be early” !

It’s not too late to be early with mobile !

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mobile marketing by imobile local

For those who missed it there was a great online webinar event on earlier this evening by “Google thinkmobile” about the growth of mobile technology with really fascinating stats.

IF you are questioning whether YOUR business should have a mobile website or application, check out a couple of screenshots I grabbed and also Slideshare presentation given by some “Mobile leading lights”, a little heavy on the figures but interesting non the less ?

Here’s some images / figures to ponder from the Google thinkmobile event:

Mobile traffic (in the USA) is exploding with 4x growth in the past year and all sign are we are mirroring our American cousins, or more likely we are ahead of the game:


1 in 3 ‘Mobile Google Searches are “Local” which provides a very high conversion rate of this search resulting in a call to business, a staggering 61% !
Mobile Search Statistics

79% of Smartphone users employ their phones to help when shopping !!!
Mobile Shopper Stats

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4 Small Business Mobile Predictions for 2011

2010 saw a staggering growth in consumer mobile usage

. . . and with the smartphone industry growing at an unprecedented rate, 2011 could prove to be an unparalleled year in terms of mobile innovation and expansion.

With more than 70 percent of the world’s population owning a mobile phone, it’s time for small businesses to pay attention to mobile and begin planning their mobile strategy now.

Below are four predictions on how the growth of mobile will affect small businesses in 2011, with key takeaways on how you can get started with each one.

1. Mobile Payments

Mobile Payments

Allowing your customers to buy with speed and confidence is essential for any small business owner, but with the pace of modern life, it’s now increasingly important to let your customers buy at their convenience.

Google mobiles massive growth

The Possibilities of mSearch !

Wow ! Wow ! . . . and thrice Wow ! Google really is on a mission !

Google Ads are on advertising offensive with Google mSearch (Mobile Browser Search) with . . .

  • Text Ads
  • Ad Site Links
  • App Download links
  • Click-to-Call
  • Vanity Numbers
  • Hyper Local Distance Info
  • Location Extension with Multiple Addresses
  • Ads “with offers” !

Google search grew 4 times on mobile devices, 10 times on Android devices !!

Android wasn’t much of a focus on Google’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, as there were bigger fish to fry, but there were a few interesting nuggets along the way. At the end of 2010, search on mobile devices grew four times more than the previous year.

iAds Twice As Memorable, More Effective Than TV Ads

Campbells-Says-iAds-More-Effective-Than-TV-Ads-Twice-As-MemorableAccording to a new “effectiveness study” from Apple and soup-maker Campbell’s, the latter’s iAds are twice as effective as the TV ads they’ve used, at a fraction of the cost.

The study, conducted by Nielsen over a five-week period, showed that consumers remembered the Campbell’s brand five times more than TV ad respondents. In addition, respondents claimed they intended to purchase Campbell’s four times more than the TV group and that they liked the ad five times more. The iAd in question garnered 53 million ad impressions total and had a CTR of roughly 1 percent. Though not as high as we’ve seen with other iAds, it’s still not too shabby. When figuring in cost, you can see why Campbell’s might prefer iAds.

Google Adds Check-Ins To ‘Latitude’

Check-ins now on ‘Latitude’

Google has finally added full check-in capabilities to its Latitude product, following in the footsteps of Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Facebook, and others that have been doing check-ins for some time now. Latitude has been a tool that lets one user share his/her location with friends, but now it goes further and allows users to check-in to specific businesses and locations.

But Google’s check-in system comes with a few twists:

- Latitude can send reminders to check-in at locations when you arrive.
- Latitude supports automated check-ins at places you choose.
- Latitude automatically checks you out when you leave the location.

Those are convenient features that check-in fans will enjoy. But, Latitude check-ins are also missing a couple other features common to competing services:

Google Mobile Tightens Its Grip On Local

Google accelerates into Mobile Local

At iMobile Local we are trying to keep you, small business owners abreast of what’s going on in the whirlwind world that is ‘iMobile’ , there is sooooo much activity with Google, Facebook etc  directly at YOUR KIND OF BUSINESS . . . Yesterday Google announced that it was adding check-ins (and loyalty categories) to Latitude. It also announced the global expansion of HotPot, its recommendations tool. Checkout the video (left)


Google Places apps for both iPhone and Android allow people to rate and review businesses (HotPot’s objective). And on Places Pages, in Android, you can also check-in (that’s coming to iPhone). In addition all of this is deeply integrated with Google Maps and Navigation on Android handsets.

Google is also developing a Groupon clone. No doubt deals/offers will also be distributed on Google Place Pages when that service gets off the ground. Separately Google has been experimenting with “mobile Offers Ads” that show discounts and coupons intended to drive foot traffic to offline businesses.

FaceBook Places Deals not just Mobile !

FaceBook-Places-Deals
Facebook has started to remedy one of the problems with its Deals program, which was the inability to review deals in advance and plan. Facebook Places Deals were only discoverable immediately around you (on the go) on a mobile app.

But now Facebook is putting FaceBook Places deals on the site. Here’s how it looks:

FaceBook Deals

You can review deals in your general area in advance and make shopping & entertainment decisions accordingly. It gives Facebook Places Deals greater reach and impact.

Facebook Deals is in a position to have a major impact on both national & local advertisers and the local market broadly. Deals, together with Groupon and several other efforts (e.g., Siri), is part of a gradual move toward transaction or CPA-based pricing and models in the local market. Source Article

Secret Google #1 Ranking Plugin That I USE !

iMobile Local SEOProcessor WordPress Plugin Ninja Secret !

SEOProcessor WordPress Plugin

For those small business owners that have taken advantage of my FREE Local Business Marketing Strategy advice with regards to adding a ‘Blog’ to your websites, you will recall that I spoke about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It just isn’t enough to write a great informative, entertaining blog post and sit back and wait for people to breeze past it by chance. You need to promote it through Social Media but first “Optimise” each and every page and post it so the search engines can find it and spread the word for you ! You will hopefully remember my Tips about ‘on-page SEO . . . the Title and Description Tags, using H1 with your Keywords etc etc

I want to share some more marketing wisdom . . . a secret Ninja Tool that will do some of this work that we have spoken about for you . . .

Website Reference - Business Collective - Publication Sharing - XML POST