OK, so you’re remarkable, now what?

Why local business and tourist venues should enable customers to remark about them

Purple CowWhy local business and tourist venues should enable customers to remark about them

We should by now all be aware of the importance of being remarkable, but one thing that’s often missing is making it REALLY easy for people to share that “remarkability” with their friends with the simple act of giving them a free wifi connection.

Mobile devices are getting smarter, more capable, high-speed mobile data is becoming more widespread, but that doesn’t mean businesses are off the hook when it comes to hooking their customers up to a fast, free internet connection (yes, I’m looking at you Hilton, Marriot and any other short-sighted money grubbing hotel that bilks their customers up to $20 a day for internet access). In fact sometimes the free wifi in itself is remarkable enough for a mention.

Given that very few data plans remain unlimited and in many cases a lot of people at a venue may be from out-of-country so have no data plan or desire to rack up huge roaming charges, it’s the very least you can do to be a good host.

If you’re responsible for the marketing of a local business, tourist attraction or pretty much anywhere people go and have an experience that you’re confident enough in that you want them to talk about, how about handing them that megaphone?

You want people shooting video, taking pictures, geotagging it and uploading it to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube and all the other social media sites. You want people checking in on Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt or whatever (bonus points for making sure that your wifi access point has been submitted to SkyHook Wireless to give accurate geolocation). Enabling this is a matter of installing a public-access wireless network (segregated from your internal one) on a decent internet connection.

You can DIY it if you wish, taking care to block file-sharing ports and the like, or have a consultant install it for you if your needs are more complex. It may cost a few hundred dollars or pounds (up to a few thousand for a multiple access point setup for larger locations) but it’s a lot cheaper and more effective to have your customers spread the word than what you spend on interruption marketing.

Image credit: sunclover via Creative Commons on Flickr

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