Consumer-driven platforms like Foursquare and Facebook are giving small and medium-sized businesses access to an enormous amount of customer data. With a few clicks of a button, a merchant can see when his customers are coming in, how often they’re coming back, and what they think of his business as a whole. What that merchant can’t necessarily see is how all those pieces of information fit together and how they can be used to generate more effective marketing campaigns.
Several companies help merchants sort through and analyze this information. By analyzing check-in data, measuring customer engagement, and tracking overall sentiment on social networking and review sites, these firms help companies get a data-driven view into consumer habits — and ultimately identify their most valuable customers.
Here are five platforms that merchants can use to track and analyze this latest wave of consumer information.
Geotoko is a marketing and analytics platform made for businesses that run location-based promotions with Foursquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla, and Twitter. Small businesses that use Geotoko to create and manage their LBS campaigns can take advantage of the platform’s analytics tools to track check-ins and compare engagement on competing loyalty platforms. They can also find out which days of the week and times of the day customers are most likely to check-in at their restaurants and stores. Geotoko is a great tool for tracking and comparing check-in data at multiple locations, which makes it well suited for businesses with more than one outpost. Geotoko’s small business package begins at $149 per month.
Businesses looking to get the most out of their location-based marketing campaigns will want to check out Momentfeed, a platform that helps merchants with 20 or more locations monitor, measure, and optimize their campaigns on Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, and their own branded applications. Aimed primarily at businesses in the restaurant and retail industries, Momentfeed measures the reach and potential value of check-ins and tweets based on each customer’s Klout Score and online follower count. Businesses can compare sentiment by location or region, and measure any lifts in engagement due to the specials they’ve run on Foursquare. Pricing for Momentfeed varies based on the number of locations being monitored.
LocalResponse is a platform that larger brands can use to respond to check-ins, posts, and comments on Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The platform prioritizes the data it collects from LBS applications and social media sites, and then prompts businesses to respond to selected status updates and messages by offering limited-time coupons and targeted ads. LocalResponse also runs natural language processes and looks for key phrases on popular social media sites that signal consumers’ interest in a brand. Although LocalResponse doesn’t release its specific pricing, its co-founder Nihal Mehta does say the platform works on a CPC model.
Sophisticated marketers looking for a way to organize and analyze large sets of internal and external data will appreciate GeoIQ. The platform helps businesses analyze CRM and ERP information together with social media, weather, traffic, and countless other data sources. In 2011, GeoIQ introduced its latest innovation for businesses: GeoIQ Social, a real-time API tool that sources location-sensitive data from Twitter, Pachube, and other platforms and spits this data out in a map-friendly format. GeoIQ charges businesses based on the specific services they need, however the platform does offer a free trial for merchants who are curious to try it out.
5. Sprout Social
Although Sprout Social is known for being a popular social media management tool, it also offers a number of analytics features that are useful for local businesses that run location-based marketing programs. Sprout Social monitors check-in behavior and separates out first-time visitors from loyal customers. This information is then used to generate detailed reports that merchants can use to determine their busiest days and times, and reward their most valuable customers. The platform also sources contact information from customers’ social media profiles, when possible, which merchants can use in their email marketing efforts. Sprout Social offers three pricing plans based on the size of the business, ranging in price from $39 to $899 a month.
Know of other platforms that businesses can use to track and analyze customer behavior? Leave a description in the comments.