Am I “Mayor” of my own Social Media message?

With the awareness and interest raised for location based Social Media platforms/technologies like Foursquare and Gowalla, I have jotted down and exploration of thoughts. These thoughts and questions I have to think through myself; I have to answer these questions critically before moving forward with the use of these new location based platforms.

Some Thoughts I have been pondering and synthesizing:

  • Social Media outlets added to the “open source” movement that gives “small” people and organizations a voice.
  • Social Media transformed us (small people/organizations) as “thought leaders” to drive Internet traffic to our “motherships” for information.
  • Social Media platforms provided the “small” people/organizations an opportunity to create robust web properties competing with “big box” organizations.
  • Social Media platforms provided the awareness necessary to create a “mothership” portal where the majority of the marketing messages “flow” through driving traffic to engage with a consistent message.
  • Social Media technology and open source platforms allowed and empowered “small” people/organizations to compete in the messaging landscape with “big box” organizations.
  • Social Media has allowed those to use technologies to build “Tribes” creating movements to distribute a message around a community.

Some questions in my head personally and professionally:

  1. Why must “small” people/organizations be willing to use Social Media technologies to disclose locations?
  2. Does Social Media technologies disclosing locations hurt/degrade the value of the brand of the “small” people and organizations…or reinforce the brand of the “big box” organizations.
  3. Does location based Social Media technologies reinforce the “small” people/organizations as “thought leaders” empowering the reinforcement of the “big box” organization?
  4. Does location based Social Media technology reinforce the small individual people and organization “thought leaders” as “thought leaders” since they are proportionally the influencers for “bog box” brands?
  5. Have small people and organizations using Social Media platforms and location based technologies created a paradigm shift in perception transitioning those “small” people/organizations onto the same platform as “big box” organizations. Where does the influence lie and where will it lie in 10 years?

Who are the thought leaders?

Who really maximizes the true benefit of these location based platforms? Is it the groups publishing where they are located or is the organizations that are being recognized where this constituency base has chosen to locate and ultimately publicize? Some organizations are providing “rewards” for those soliciting their location using these technologies, but who is the thought leader here? Or do we care? Or is it just fun to say we are going to a movie and then to another place for a milkshake?

Organizations like hospitals might frame the benefit from these platforms with their marketing support staff providing their location especially for small doctors offices that lie under the umbrella of services. This is where organizations, “big box” organizations could benefit from internal staff providing location based advertising and raise awareness both from a public (business to consumer) and internal (business to business) position, informing other internal groups where and what is offered internally.

So what is the story behind these location based platforms? How are you using them? Are you doing more that just adding to the fad of saying what you are doing and where? Have you thought about the true marketing implications of these technologies and platforms? Are you telling your story or helping others with a bigger message? What are your thoughts? And will this become another place like Twitter where people get excited and then the honeymoon stage drops off like a bad relationship?