An array of applications are taking location-based services to the next level by offering real-time answers to questions based on what’s near you. These apps offer a great service by allowing users to ask specific questions about nearby venues such as: “Is there a long wait for a table or is happy hour still on?” And you get answer on the spot! Applications currently leading the way in this genre are Crowdbeacon, Localmind and the recently announced Loopt Qs.
Crowdbeacon is a location-based service focused on providing relevant, localized information to users based on what they need and where they are. Users’ questions get answered by other users, local experts and business owners. The app also aggregates tips from Foursquare and Yelp reviews. ViaLocalmind users can send questions to someone already checked-in via Foursquare, Gowalla and/or Facebook Places. The person who’s checked-in receives the questions as a notification on his or her phone and can reply back in real-time. These “fellow users” are either Localmind users or part of the user’s networks. Localmind Video:
Recently announced,Loopt Qs, offers real-time answers to questions about nearby locations such as restaurants, bars and other venues. Loopt Qs aggregates answers from many users and presents them to users in a graph.
Loopt Qs video
Local business owners could really add great value to their services by adopting these tools, not only for awareness and to share current specials/news, but to show off superb customer service. Transparency and honesty are a must to avoid backlash.
Business owners should only participate in the conversation if they have relevant information that answers users’ questions. Do you think business owners should ride the wave and adopt these trends as part of their marketing strategy?
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