You’re on holiday, sitting in a nice coffee shop in the middle of a small town. The barista makes you a latte with a very interesting froth portrait of Batman. It’s a perfect likeness, in fact, it’s internet worthy. You eagerly take the perfect photo and upload it to your social media platforms to share with your friends and family. Your character limit hits max capacity in seconds, with gushing hashtags of #awesome, #thedarknight and various other adjectives describing how amazing it is. But where along the way is that little coffee shop named?

Social media is changing the way people communicate and share their experiences. People are driven by the urge to share their experiences in the moment. Businesses make the common mistake of focusing too intently upon trackable text conversation, such as hashtagging or keyworded searches, inevitably overlooking the substantial amount of location based data they could be monitoring.

Often, brand referenced hash tags are only used in a small number of posts, despite the amount of traffic your business may actually be receiving. On average, we have found about 70% of posts do not mention the brand, versus those that actively talk about a brand or product without explicitly mentioning it. On Twitter alone, only about 20% of tweets are branded conversations. Yet, these experiences are still taking place and generate conversation.

What’s so great about location based data?

Local Measure sees the value in location based data, as it focuses on what’s being said at a particular place. Check-ins and geotagging can alert you to who is at your locations and when, even if a post doesn’t mention your brand or product outright. Unlike hash-tagging or other conversation based elements, which can be mentioned after the fact of the experience, geographical based information gives more insight as to when you are receiving traffic, what’s happening, and where it is occurring. It’s an aspect of social media sharing that, when appropriately taken into account, can double the amount of feedback you receive on your analytics.

This is where location based monitoring tools become important. For example, patrons often post photos without referencing the brand or service they are using. A MotiveQuest report has found that in most categories, brands are rarely mentioned. In monitoring conversations in the food industry, they found that only 5% of conversations mentioned the brand. From the picture and text alone, you can’t tell where this picture was taken or whose product is being represented.

However, because the post has been tracked based on location, the brand can be alerted as to who is using their service, what that customer is doing at their location and how they’re interacting with the product. Location based data introduces you to a wider range of client experiences that you wouldn’t ordinarily find with text tracked conversation.

‍(Post attribution, @brookeleish at Christian Louboutin)

In the above picture, the brand can not only identify the customer is at their location, but knows the customer is shopping for a pair of wedding shoes. This would be a great opportunity for the brand to engage with the customer and invite the customer to engage over any other needs they have for the upcoming event.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that customers will mention your brand by name. Often when you are on holiday, or using the services provided by a facility, the urge to share that experience takes precedence over any secondary thoughts about attributing the experience to a brand. By paying attention to location based data, you are letting the place speak for itself.