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Geofencing and Social Media

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

There are two great inventions from the past 50 years that have had a huge impact on modern marketing. These inventions are the GPS and social media.

The Global Positioning System (GPS), formerly known as Navistar GPS, is a satellite-based radio navigation system owned and administered by the United States Space Force. It is a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that gives geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where four or more GPS satellites can be seen without obstruction.

In 1973, the US Department of Defense launched the GPS program. In 1978, the first prototype spacecraft was launched, and in 1993, the entire constellation of 24 satellites became operational. After the Korean Air Lines Flight 007 disaster, President Ronald Reagan issued an executive order allowing civilian use beginning in the 1980s.

For the business sector, this invention would have industry-changing consequences with the advent of geofencing. Geofencing was first conceived in the early 1990s and patented in 1995 by American inventor Michael Domino. Geofencing occurs when a mobile device or RFID tag reaches or departs a virtual geographic borderline, known as a geofence, an app or other software program uses radio frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, GPS, or cellular data to trigger a targeted marketing activity (such as a text, email, social media advertisement, or app notification).

For example, when a young woman comes near an Ulta store in the mall, she may receive an app notice that says, "Today only! "Buy one lipstick and get one free!" You can use GPS, Bluetooth, and beacons to track a customer's location, and there are three ways to use this technology to target customers: geotargeting, geofencing, and beaconing.

Geofencing is focused on the virtual perimeter you build around a specific geographic location to deliver targeted messaging, whereas geotargeting is committed to delivering targeted ads to desktop users based on their location. However, geofencing is not limited to a business's personal mobile app or website.

The other great invention we mentioned is social media. The internet's expansion permitted the launch of online communication services such as CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy in the 1980s and 1990s, according to "The History of Social Networking" on the technology news site Digital Trends. Email, bulletin board messages, and real-time online chatting were used to introduce individuals to digital communication. Starting with the short-lived Six Degrees profile uploading service in 1997, this gave birth to the first social media networks.

Friendster came after this service in 2001. Millions of people used these rudimentary services, which allowed for email address registration and basic internet networking. With the advent of the LiveJournal publishing site in 1999, another early form of digital social communication, weblogs, or blogs, gained prominence. This was at the same time that Pyra Labs, a tech startup that was purchased by Google in 2003, launched the Blogger publishing platform.

LinkedIn began as a networking service for career-minded professionals in 2002. The professional social media network expanded to over 675 million users worldwide in 2020. It is still the most popular social media platform for job searchers and HR managers looking for competent applicants.

Myspace was founded in 2003. Users' ability to share new music immediately on their profile pages propelled it to become the most visited website on the planet by 2006. However, by 2008, Facebook had far surpassed Myspace in popularity. Myspace was bought for $35 million by musician Justin Timberlake in 2011, but it has since become a social media afterthought.

In 2022, social media is more popular than ever and has become as much a part of the daily routine as reading the newspaper or watching television; perhaps even more so. So, it should not be surprising to find advertisers have flocked to this new form of media to reach a captivated audience. One way they can do this is by using the geotargeting technology mentioned previously.

Widen Your Audience Make Your Customers Feel Special

Geofencing is a great way to bring customers to your door because you are targeting them with personalized content.. If a consumer knows you are nearby, the customer experience is enhanced, and a connection is established. Think of the social media alerts sent via geofencing as a giant billboard saying Check This Out! It’s in your face marketing that is relevant to potential customers in the area.

It also can drive traffic away from your competitors and into your door. Imagine have a Facebook pop up for an exclusive deal at Ulta when a customer is near or inside Sephora. With social media geotargeting, you can make something like that happen.

Customers truly enjoy receiving unique care and feeling special. Using geofencing to offer them the relevant advertisement at the right time might demonstrate to your customers that you care about them. This may cause people to favor your brand above others.

These are just a few of the advantages of geofencing advertisements. Make certain that your notifications are powerful and important, that they stand out from the crowd. Too many bland pop-ups may be sufficient to cause customers to disable your notifications.

How to Use Geofencing on Social Media


Instagram is the second most popular social media site out there, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Instagram's geofencing is quite simi