Location and context just became more important to brands. On March 23, Twitter disclosed a relationship with Foursquare to make it possible for people to add specific locations to their Tweets. In other words, you can give your tweets additional context by sharing your location (e.g., “Starbucks, 123 Mission Street. San Francisco”) along with your activity. The relationship underscores how important it is for brands to create personal, contextual relationships with customers at the local level — such as by offering location-specific offers targeted to Twitter users based on their location and activity.
Twitter users are already able to add cities or neighborhoods to their tweets. But as explained on the Twitter website, soon users will be able to add specific locations– such as restaurants, businesses, and retail stores. As Twitter notes, “You can choose to add a location to your Tweets using Twitter for Android, Twitter for iOS, twitter.com or other mobile applications.” The mobile applicability is crucial: mobile searches are expected to surpass desktop searches in 2015, per eMarketer.
The Twitter/Foursquare relationship creates an opportunity for businesses (such as large enterprises with multiple locations) to create more location-relevant information, such as offers and recommendations. For instance, if you Tweet about the lunch you are having in the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, the Banana Republic Twitter account that you follow just might want to let you know about a sale going on at the nearby Banana Republic in the Financial Center. But retailers are not the only brands that can benefit. For instance, a medical practice might share with you information about the doctors at its location depending on where you are and what you are doing.
The relationship is also a huge win for Foursquare because Foursquare extends its reach as a source of business data for third-party applications. Foursquare already supplies data to Uber and Pinterest to make those apps more locally relevant. Partnering with Twitter makes Foursquare a more influential player in local search.
For brands to succeed, they should consider carefully the importance of context. Brands that tweet offers willy-nilly based on someone’s location may alienate customers and prospects. Brands that take into account a person’s context — such as the time of day a tweet is shared, the actual content and tone of the tweet — will win by being relevant.
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