Give Local Search Marketing a Shout Out with PlaceShout
Finally! A use for Twitter-like technology!
It’s a great time to be a small business owner. Matt McGee is over at Search Engine Land issuing the second installment of his Which Google Products Should A Small Business Use series and last night Keri Morgret was kind enough to open my eyes to a brand new resource for local search marketers to take advantage of.
The resource is a simple application called PlaceShout where your customers can stop by and give a quick 100 word shout out (or a huzzah, if you will) about how awesome your local business is. Once your business has been added to the embedded Google map, other users can come by and then rate your review up or down. Given Netizen’s recent report that 78 percent of their respondents said they trust recommendations from other consumers, this is some pretty powerful stuff.
I realize there are plenty of sites that let users stop by and give their opinion of local businesses, but this one is different because the succinctness of the reviews make them actually useful. Look:
Now you don’t have to read through a 700 word thesis on how this guy went to that one breakfast restaurant and his eggs were runny and then the waitress spilled the coffee all over his lap and then they were slow to get the check and he wasted 90 minutes there when all he wanted was a quick breakfast. Instead, PlaceShout encourages this poor, put upon soul to express his grief in a few lines and then get out of your hair. You don’t need to know his life story; the only information you need is that you should avoid this place at all costs unless you like bad food, bad service and coffee in your lap. See, way shorter and way more useful.
If you’re not in the mood to review and are instead just looking for a cool new place to check out, PlaceShout makes that easy too. You can scan through the list of visible shout outs, browse by category, view the newest or hottest places, or hear about what the loudest users are saying.
And if you see that you and another user seem to have similar tastes, you can also check out their profile and scope out the stuff they’re recommending.
The look and feel of PlaceShout is very reminiscent of Twitter, where users are asked to speak their mind in only a few characters. The only difference is that PlaceShout has an actual purpose. (Yes, I did just go there.) The goal behind PlaceShout is to help searchers find new local business they might be interested in, while also giving local business owners a great way to increase visibility and generate some good word of mouth.
Right now the number of available cities to add your shout to is somewhat limited, but I still think this presents a valuable opportunities for local search marketing. If only because it would be so easy for someone to scoop up this little company and turn it into something amazing.
Imagine if users could click straight through the embedded Google Map listing and be taken directly to the local site?
Imagine if there was a mobile version so that when my growling tummy and I are on the go and in need of a scrumptious burrito, we can find one ASAP?
Even in its current form, there are so many possibilities here for those interested in local search marketing.