Location-based services help you to reach more potential tourism visitors. Two services to add to your tool box are Twitter Places and Whrrl.
(See How do you make Foursquare relevant in small towns for an overview of how location-based services help you reach more potential visitors.)
By using Twitter Places, users can tie their tweet to your location without having to use up any of their 140 character limit. I see this as useful for events at your location, or festivals that bring lots of visitors to town. Users can see other nearby tweets, or can link directly to your location from the tweet (not your website, but your location).
Because Twitter has a huge existing user base, this has the potential to reach more people than specialty location-based services.
Get started with these two help files from Twitter:
Hat tip to John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing for pointing out Places.
Whrrl is one of those services that is growing on me. It has a small following right now, but lots of potential. The focus is on telling stories about a location with pictures and short messages. It also features “societies” or interest groups like mountain biking or Mexican food. Those are the features that make it interesting for tourism.
Whrrl also has an excellent free program for business owners, that they call a Merchant program. Of course, you can offer specials to customers, but it also gives you information about those customers, such as how many times they have visited or whether they are a regular. That’s much more valuable than only knowing about the one most frequent visitor.
Hat tip to Scott Townsend for re-introducing me to Whrrl. Here’s a society he created to feature the buffalo statues around his hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. That’s a great tourism use.
Because there are so many location-based services, with more coming out all the time, we’ll continue to profile them here. We’ll focus on ones that are most promising for drawing visitors, as well as those that have features we can learn from.
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Becky, I don’t have a smart phone, have no need for one. Can I try 4square recommended places via my PC? I have never thought of trying or reading their instructions. :)
Becky McCray says
Miss Dazey, here’s how I use Foursquare without a smart phone. I have a data plan on my phone, and use the mobile site: m.foursquare.com. You can actually access that from any browser anywhere. Most of the location-based services allow you to use their website directly from any computer, without using their mobile app.