You're likely already using social media to promote your organization. These platforms make it easier than ever to connect with a worldwide audience and create a loyal fanbase or community that spans the globe. But, what happens when you want to focus on building a local community?
That's where geofencing comes in.
What is Geofencing?
Geofencing is essentially a "fence" you put up around a specific area or geography. This means that you can create social media promotions and campaigns that focus on a tiny piece of the world or a single neighborhood in your city. This virtual fence allows you to market to just the people who live and work near your business and target your efforts on them.
How Can Geofencing Help Your Social Media Campaigns?
Geofencing can help social media campaigns by creating very targeted messaging for a specific audience. This means that you can focus on reaching the people most likely to visit your brick-and-mortar business. So, rather than growing a huge global following for a business that doesn't ship products outside of the U.S., you target your neighbors and neighborhood.
Social media campaigns can be targeted as broadly or as narrowly as you want. In the brand awareness stage, perhaps it makes sense to cast a wide net, for example. But, when it comes to actually selling your goods and services (unless they are globally available), you probably want to focus on gaining a smaller, more local following.
How Does Geofencing Work?
Geofencing relies on location services. So, your audience would need to allow you access to their location on their mobile phone, tablet, or laptop computer. If you use an app to interact with your customers, it can have location services built-in.
Geofencing tools let you geographically denote your place of business and then create a virtual fence around it. Your fence can be as small or wide as you like. It could be citywide or within a five-block radius of your location.
When a prospective or returning customer enters your geofence, an alert or notification is triggered. It could be a text message, app notification or other push notification.
What Are the Best Geofencing Tools?
While you could look into setting up geofencing yourself, it requires substantial technical expertise and knowledge of location sharing permissions requirements. Today, there are several tools available to get you started with geofencing. Why create the wheel when others have done it for you?
MoEngage is an easy-to-use tool that lets you set your location and set up your geofence. You can set up triggers for entry, exit, or staying within your designated geofence. And it lets you decide when and how frequently you want to engage with customers. MoEngage also has a built-in dashboard so you can see how your campaign is performing.
Phunware provides mobile engagement that is powered by geography. Their technology can contact visitors as they enter your geofence or as they enter your place of business. You can create broadcast campaigns that target your entire audience, targeted geofenced campaigns or a beacon campaign that works by notifying users as they come in proximity of a specific beacon. They offer CRM integration and analytics so you can gauge campaign effectiveness.
ReachLocal has a geolocation technology for digital advertising called ReachDisplay. It uses pinpoint accuracy to target an audience down to a single building or as large as a neighborhood. ReachLocal also offers social media advertising technology with granular audience targeting, from target groups down to specific website visitors. Their Client Center dashboard lets you explore how your localized advertising is working.
How To Get the Most Out of Geofencing?
No matter which geofencing tool you choose to use, there are some basic principles to follow to ensure that you get the most out of geofencing.
Precisely Defined Parameters
Part of what makes geofencing so effective is the ability to narrow down your efforts to specific target groups. You can select a broadcast campaign that targets a broad audience within your location or narrow things down to ask about the experience of a particular customer that visited your establishment.
Get Locally Focused
In most digital marketing efforts, we're trying to reach the widest audience possible. But geofencing is different. So, you could broadcast a message across the city, or send a targeted campaign to local businesses or people living within walking distance of your business. Experiment with narrowing things down and see how effective this kind of targeted marketing can be!
Identify Your Target Audience
As with any marketing effort, you have to get to know your prospective customers. However, geofencing takes that to a new level. Because it is geographically localized, research the different demographics in your neighborhood to lock in on exactly who you are targeting.
Leverage A/B Testing
As you are getting more familiar with geofencing campaigns, try running two at the same time. This allows you to try out different tactics and techniques simultaneously to see which works better. Play with copy, images, or offering different types of discounts or specials to see what draws people in.
Understand Your Customer
The targeted nature of geofencing allows you to get to know your customers and their behavior better than ever before. You're not checking basic demographics on a digital marketing campaign. You are, quite literally, getting to know your neighbors. Use location services to track their behavior, how frequently they visit your business or what other places they are going, like the local yoga studio or coffee shop.
Focus on Relevant and Valuable Content
People are bombarded by spam calls, email alerts, text notifications, social media pings and a thousand other things that are all vying for their attention at any given moment. It's no wonder attention spans are shorter than ever! In order to capture customer interest, especially on social media, what you're sharing must be timely, relevant and offer them real value.
Add Geofencing to Your Social Media Campaigns
By now, we're sure you've realized the value that geofencing can bring to help you localize your social media campaigns and digital marketing strategy. The next time you're thinking of a new targeted campaign, consider adding geofencing and watch your local customer base grow.