GeoSocial Networking For Business
With the continued rapid advancement in communication technologies and the rate at which new techniques are introduced, geosocial networking is not in any way new. In fact, its popularity has been growing just as fast as the social media giants such as Facebook & Twitter. Many people actively use such networking feature remaining adamant about the positive results that the networks help them achieve.
There are many advantages of this type of social networking which is the reason many people use them. However, there are also some areas of concern which seem to get more attention from the news media.
As part of this blog post, I will offer a potential use case, similar to what many who have adopted Geosocial Networking (including myself) have used it for.
Here is a detailed description of geosocial networking and everything it involves including benefits and risks.
What is GeoSocial networking?
This is basically an improved feature that compliments social networking by adding aspects of exact physical/geographical location. Geo-coding and geo-tagging are used to integrate various social networking dynamics and geographic services. It is facilitated by technologies that enable user-submitted data to be automatically included in updates, messages and even by mere online presence. Geo-networking can be achieved for social networks which are IP-based or hotspot trilateral and mobile networks in form of texted location information. In simple terms, this type of networking enables interaction of people within a given geographical location and connects service seekers with providers within the same region. The social networking allows location-based information to be sent or made public in chat platforms and accompanying messages and/or status updates. This type of networking relies on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and many other social media platforms.
There are a growing number of Geosocial specific apps/sites. Some of them have experienced rapid growth (and negative media) recently. Services such as YikYak, Tinder and Waze have become increasingly popular, and have also faced increasing levels of scrutiny.
The benefits of geosocial networking
The advantages of this type of networking are quite straightforward and easy to identify. With geosocial networking, monitoring, tracking, information dissemination and control are all simplified. The benefits can be better defined in the use as follows:
• Linking people to places – With geosocial networking, web location mapping services are used in integration with geo-coding (for streets and buildings) and geo-tag details (concerts, events, meetings and hangouts) to link people to places. The information enables matching people to local social groups and places. Information from restaurant and nightclub reviews or any other description that includes specific geographical location can be used in this linking.
• Disaster scenario and control – Geosocial networking enable collaborative coordination of geo-tag information in social networks. This can help in creating situational awareness and informing other people about disasters, riots, fires and any other pandemic. As a result, the feature enables sorting of information and sharing ideas to quickly determine the closest and best aid, assistance and control measures. The current technology allows automatic tracking and detection of potential and frequent disasters. One good thing about this networking is that it filters the number of contributors from a specific location from other locations allowing easy identification of message credibility.
• Event planning – This type of social networking can be used to quickly organize and arrange events, meetings and even protests. Users in a geo-specific location can share event details and plan meetings using social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Usually, such events can be planned very swiftly.
There are many other benefits of this type of networking. The main advantages stem from the ability to share information pertaining to those in a specific geographic location. Buyers can procure services and business such as gas stations, restaurants, clubs, salons, and pharmacies can profit greatly from location-based networking. According to SEO experts, businesses that incorporate more location-specific tags are likely to enjoy higher rating in organic search results within that area.
Concerns of GeoSocial Networking
While geosocial networking has a huge upside for businesses and service providers, it also has a few areas of concern that users must be aware of. Exposure of location-specific data may not appeal to everybody. Some people’s job roles would require their locations not be revealed. Waze has recently received some criticism regarding the location of speed traps. Law enforcement is concerned that their safety may be jeopardized as a result. Relationships should also expect a certain level of privacy. Employees may not want their colleagues of employers to view location-specific details and track their movements. This type of networking makes it easy to track people provided they stay online and/or make comments, posts, updates and likes on social platforms. Even after shifting locations, the feature can still track. The main concern with geosocial networking often revolves around confidentiality and privacy. Fortunately, most features that allow geo-locating can be turned off.
Use Case Study
For this scenario I will use a very popular GeoSocial Network. Foursquare has been around for a while now, and is easily one of the more popular apps of this type. Foursquare is not just about checking in to your favorite gym or restaurant. Businesses can also offer rewards for checking in at their location. Coupons at restaurants or no initiation fee at a gym can go a long way to driving sales.
The car wash I use offers similar deals from time to time. Who doesn’t love an unexpected few dollars off a service you are going to use anyway? Now, what if people knew that the deal existed already? That would definitely drive traffic to your location if a nearby check-in triggered an offer at your business.
Social networking is evolving and features new technologies. Geo-locating is one of the available features that allow delivery of location-specific services and dynamics. This type of communication is becoming very popular and the feature now comes as part of most networking tools and chat platforms. It is wise to take advantage of the many possibilities it presents while ensuring appropriate precautions to achieve privacy.