Brightkite: The New Marketing Frontier

Tonight a few of the Lowcountry bloggers got together at Coco’s Cafe in Mt. Pleasant for an event set up by Lyn Mettler to kind of introduce the restaurant to the bloggers and generate some buzz. The restaurant was fantastic; I enjoyed the food a great deal (including the salmon — and I’m historically not a seafood guy), and the place was really charming and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can see it, too. Between Ian and myself, we took many pictures and posted them on Brightkite, a location-based social network. At first glance, Brightkite screams “stalker tool,” and I can see why it’s taken that way — after all, the premise of the site is that you post your exact location (there are privacy tools available so you can determine who can see your most detailed position). However, used in a way that it was used tonight, it also is the ultimate marketing tool.

The beauty of Brightkite is that you can take pictures and write notes and then associate them with a location — effectively, geotagging. Take a look at the Brightkite page for Coco’s. You’ll see several photos of Coco’s there. See, I can tell you all about the ambiance of the restaurant and the food and stuff, but as they say, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Plus, since the pictures are associated with the entry for Coco’s in Brightkite, anybody else that checks in there or looks into it even before going there can see what it’s like. The icing on the cake: Since my Brightkite photos and notes are crossposted to Twitter, people who follow me can see the photos as they’re posted, complete with the location information. That’s pretty cool. Additionally, if people elect to post their location updates (called checkins in Brightkite lingo) to Twitter with some level of detail, that’s instant advertising. There are many, many other social aspects to Brightkite that escape the scope of this post, too.

Are you using Brightkite? Add me — maybe we can check in at Coco’s.