Note:  This is a guest post from Social Media DIY

Today’s internet allows you to connect with local customers through cell phones and social media.

Social media is turning the world upside down. The old real estate adage “Location is everything” has taken on a new meaning with the latest trend, geolocation. It’s a big word and it means several related things, but the bottom line is this: Your business can benefit from adding information about your business’ physical location to various internet services.

In the early days of the internet, businesses grew because they could reach out to customers in distant locations through an online connection. Today, the internet is helping businesses that rely on walk-in traffic to connect with the users located in the neighborhood. You can pin-point your geography online and target people who live and work near your business, include people whose daily commute takes them past your business.

The reason for this change? Cell phones, especially smart phones. Cell phones are always tracked for location because they rely on cell phone towers to send and receive messages. In other words, your cell phone always knows where it is located on the planet. People today use their cell phone to connect with the internet while they are mobile. The marriage of cell phones and the internet means that your business build your local customer base through the internet.

Your business has an opportunity now to jump into the social media tools that use geolocation to help local customers. Here are some things you can do this week to start tapping into the local customers through social media tools.

  • Get your business listed on Google Maps. Update you listing to include important customer information like your hours, services, products, and even photographs.
  • Find local people who use Twitter. You can follow them, and even schedule a meetup at your business with your local Twitter community.
  • Check out the various check-in services like Brightkite, Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl, and MyTown. See if your business is listed with each service. Start making a list of people who regularly check-in at your business and meet them on their next visit.

Want to learn more about the check-in services? We’ve got a series of articles to help you tap into them to build and reward your local customer base.

Your turn: Are you already aware of these check-in social media tools? Are you using them to connect with your customers? Share your experience here.

The Social Media DIY Workshop is for small business people who want to learn social media. The workshop consists of articles, ebooks, and videos that explain social media topics. Use these resources to create your customized learning experience. Learn what you want to build a customized do-it-yourself (DIY) social media program for your business, non-profit, or government agency.

We add new resources every week to the Social Media DIY Workshop that cover social media topics of interest to small business.