The advent of the Internet and mobile technologies is changing the face of neighborhoods around the world. Though their reach is global, in combination with mobile hand-helds, the Web is having significant local effects.
Here are three technological trends that are making neighborhoods matter again.
Foursquare is perhaps the most popular of the early check-in apps, but the behavior has spread across several different social networks and mobile platforms. When a person checks in to a location, that data is aggregated for research.
More importantly, the neighborhood looks more popular online, and that drives a lot of trendy opinions on which neighborhoods to live and work in. In other words, neighborhood marketing is now a real-time activity!
The cost of gas and transportation has risen in recent years, and even though they may have stabilized fairly recently, other costs haven’t. The expense of driving a long distance to work is no longer something employees find acceptable as a fixed cost of employment.
Instead, people are looking for employment that’s closer to their residence, or they’re moving closer to work. That’s a significant part of a massive and recent trend in urbanization.
Social media and ratings drive local favorites
Social media is a scary thing for many businesses, but it’s a beautiful thing for consumers and the businesses they love. It’s becoming much easier for great businesses to establish themselves as neighborhood experts, instead of being forced to spread their knowledge thinly across a much broader region, in order to stay in business.
The consumer and the business provider both benefit from this level of specialization, and technological word-of-mouth will happen with a combination of social media and consumer-generated ratings on sites such as Yelp or Google Reviews.
For example, this West Village real estate agency site offers a clear instance in which this local marketing phenomenon is being implemented. Because the agents at Keller Williams are recognized as local experts, and have the technology to back up that status, they’re able to present a more detailed and thorough shopping experience on their site.
They’re able to focus on specific neighborhoods and give their customers an advanced and expert opinion on what it’s like to live in the West Village area, which is the type of experience their clients are looking to reward with positive ratings and social media raves.