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The Lure of Pokemon GO and What It Means for Small Businesses

IMG_2597Pokemon GO has taken over.
The augmented reality mobile app and game that launched a few weeks ago has seen phenomenal growth rates, with engagement rates surpassing Snapchat and a higher percentage of daily active users than Twitter!
Armed with a smartphone and a sense of adventure, Pokemon GO users have made the streets and parks of America an extended playground with people actively searching for prized Pokemons to capture. I tried the app with my kids, and we spent hours running around outside capturing Pokemon together. It was a way to connect and engage with them in a fun activity that offered a competitive and physical activity, bridging both the digital and real world. It’s part nostalgia and part scavenger hunt, and has captured the imagination and the attention of both young and old.
The initial bump of usage has been surprising, and many suggest that it will likely be a passing fad. However, you cannot dismiss the appeal and possible opportunities it offers small businesses with a physical location that can capitalize on the attention by drawing customers to their doors.
In a recent piece entitled “3 Simple Ways to Pokemon Grow Your Business,” Dave Kerpen and the team at Likeable Media lay out three suggestions on how small businesses can leverage the popularity of Pokemon GO:
1. “Lure” Your Customers Through the Door
Provided your place of business is near a PokeStop, you can draw foot traffic to your doors by creating a “lure” to attract more Pokemon for 30 minutes, all for less than $1. Businesses can set up lures within the app, and start seeing the traffic roll in. I can certainly see where an insurance office or independent financial advisor could use a lure to draw attention and possibly new business at a very affordable price point. It couldn’t hurt.
2 . Pick a Team (or All 3 Teams) 
Once you reach a certain level on Pokemon GO, you have the option to be part of one of three teams, each with their own name and color: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue) and Valor (Red). Dave suggests that small businesses can create special offers for teams and promote them on social media to help draw more traffic.
3. Use Social Media Content and Ads to Incite Pokemon Excitement
Part of the fun of Pokemon GO is how it has captured our attention, and while people are talking about it and participating, this is a good time to leverage social media content that is relevant and engaging and tied to Pokemon fever. Targeted Facebook ads can play on the search theme of the game, and you change the copy to reflect the kinds of products and services you offer. For example, insurance providers can relate the search of a Pokemon to the search for better insurance coverage.
Who knows how long the hype of Pokemon GO will last; however, what it has illustrated is how quickly a new application can grow in both adoption and utilization. This could only have happened now with the proliferation and widespread use of mobile technology. Once again, it’s an opportunity even for “traditional” industries and businesses to challenge the status quo and rethink different approaches to draw attention and people to your business.
P.S. Go Team Mystic!
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4 social media trends every real estate agent must know

Are you a real estate agent new to social media? Or maybe you’ve been on social media for a while and want to keep up with the industry trends. Here are a few real estate trends that will help you be social media savvy.

Mobile photos

As an agent, you’re always on the go—showing houses, meeting with clients, and searching for the hottest new listings. That’s why mobile is so important for real estate agents today. Mobile helps you share content, listings, articles, and tips over social networks while you’re on the move.
Here’s one great practice: As you arrive at your new home listing, snap a picture using Instagram and post it to your Facebook page so that your connections can see the latest houses on the market. You can also capture stories, share neighborhood information, and other tips while you’re driving through your local area. For the most mileage, post these ideas and pictures when they are relevant and recent instead of waiting until you get back to the office. In addition, Instragram allows you to turn these photos into a postcard that you can send to your clients or use in your marketing materials.
Don’t forget you can also share content and upload pictures to Hearsay Social from your mobile phone by logging in to Hearsay Social from your iPad, iPhone, Android, or other Web-connected device.

Communities

There are many types of communities online that you can join through LinkedIn GroupsGoogle+ Communities, and Yahoo! Groups. These services allow people to connect to communities who share common interests.

Try joining a community about real estate, creating a community about your local neighborhood, or joining a community that is involved in city event planning. All of these types of communities will help you connect with potential customers and convey you as a credible resource in the industry. Remember: don’t advertise through these communities. Simply answer questions and contribute to the conversation so that your new connections come to you for advice about real estate. Brand yourself as the go-to person.

Networking via Social Media

When you look at your News Feed on Facebook or your homepage on LinkedIn, do you ever look for new life events?
For example, when someone has a baby, gets married, or experiences other significant life moments, many people share that information over social media. The great thing for real estate agents is that it gives you a glimpse into the important things happening in your network so that you can reach out. Chances are high that a new baby, a new spouse, or an upcoming job move could mean the person has to look for a home. Track the feeds on your favorite social networks to find out what major life events are happening and congratulate your contacts so that they remember you’re there to help when they need to move.

Google+ Local

Do you have a physical real estate agency office? If so, the new Google+ Local feature would be great for you. It allows agents like yourself to list your physical office details and collect customer reviews. Since this is all housed within Google+, it allows clients and prospects to be able to find your physical location and listing on the Web through various services, like Google Maps and Google search. Try it out!