Friday, October 24, 2014

Why Brands Need to Manage Their Digital Place Identity

Key terms: digital place identity, social media, mobile devices, local marketing
The nearly universal use of mobile devices and social media has dramatically changed the habits of consumers – especially when they need to search for, discover, and visit local businesses. Increasingly consumers seek out businesses online, pinpoint their locations on digital maps, and decide where to go based on what they find out from social media outlets like Facebook, Google+, Yelp, Foursquare, Instagram, and many more.
Consumers have eagerly embraced the mobile-social paradigm. Currently nearly half of all adults in the U.S. access real-time, location-based information with smartphones and other devices. An estimated 30% of social media users own at least one account that shares their physical location while posting content. And some 15 million consumers — about 42% of all social media users — engage with their favorite brands through social media.
All of this is changing the way brands equip and manage their local brick-and-mortar businesses. More brands are paying attention to the mix of geo-data and social-media content that is tied to each place of business – what has been called the “digital place identity” for each storefront. Any brand can optimize their digital place identity, which in the new social-mobile era is one of the most valuable assets a business can own.
In fact, in a recent study [http://www.slideshare.net/MainstayCompany/mf-managing-digital-id-wp-final], Mainstay found that brands that invested in technologies to modernize their local digital identity were handsomely rewarded. These companies – from national restaurants to retailers – leveraged solutions that ensured accurate geo-coding of their storefronts, so nobody got lost or frustrated finding the business. The solutions also rooted out brand-tarnishing rogue and redundant social media pages, and generally made it easy to monitor and “curate” the social media conversations surrounding their local places of business.
As a result, these brands are seeing more positive social media postings and reviews; they are boosting their search-engine-optimization (SEO) rankings; and -- best of all – they are driving more foot traffic and revenue into their storefronts. What’s more, the solution is saving them money because they can manage the whole process centrally without adding staff and overhead costs. Mainstay believes that modernizing your digital place identity is swiftly becoming one of the most important ways to amplify and enrich your brand and thrive in the new social-mobile world.

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