While location based social media is rapidly being embraced by individuals, businesses as a whole have yet to reciprocate this bear hug from consumers. Sure, every once in awhile we hear of a few brands that are aggressively pursuing this space, but by and large, the rise of Foursquare and Gowalla have generated a grassroots movement of single users, without asking for the consent of commerce or its sanction.  The success thus far of these programs then is even more impressive considering it wasn’t with the help of business, but in spite of it.

When logging onto either Foursquare or Gowalla, it is still baffling to see the glaring number of locations that have yet to take even a single step to “share the love” or reciprocate the attention they are being shown.  They seem ignorant to this growing movement, despite being popular with users (measured by check ins) and receiving glowing reviews (positive tips left).  This general malaise on the part of commerce is shackling the potential marketing benefits and the bottom line boost they could receive if they just showed even a very minimal effort.

Despite its success and growing popularity, location based social media still represents a sleeping giant which hasn’t even scratched the surface on its potential. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that once businesses start to “give” a little in this space, they will see healthy returns and location-based social media programs will awaken them from their slumber.