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Check In: A Social Experience

Check in sticker for Foursquare

Check in sticker for Foursquare

“Check in here” – A phrase you may have seen while you are out. You may be on the fence about letting the world know where you are. Should you do it?

I have previous written about the power of local social media and how services such as Google Places can enhance your business with a local SEO campaign. Those are all well and good for running your business, but you might need to educate your friends and customers about why they should check in to these networks. Besides saving them money with check in deals you could remind them about how much fun you can have on a social network.

Check in to Google Latitude

Google Latitude is a service by Google that encourages users to check in to a location and let friends know where you are to meet up. I had been doing this in the past just because I was a social media kind of guy. Then late last month Google introduced the Google Latitude Leaderboard. I am a somewhat competitive guy so I always found the point system to be the most fun part of Foursquare and it has now been introduced to my friends on Google! Hooray!

But then I saw that none of my friends were really doing it. I was rocking the chart merely by trying. It wasn’t a competition like I hoped, it was just a hobby. 🙁

Then a week later my old friend from SUNY Brockport saw what was going on. He and I had not talked much since graduation. He was not happy to see me beating him. We’ve he ramped up his the number of times he would check in to places. Just to keep up I would check in to every location I stopped at. I actually was happy about having to stop off at the mall for some things as it gave me the opportunity to score points. I even tried to check in to a gas station, but for some reason the gas station wasn’t in Google Maps … but the ATM in the gas station was. Yes, I actually did check in to an ATM. 🙂

The leaderboard concept needs some work. Especially in regards to how you can access it and when the cut off times were. You can currently only access it when you check in to a location. After my first check in for the week I looked at the leaderboard score for last week. I swore that I was on top then, but checking it again to post it here it seems that he somehow got another couple of points and beat me 62-61!

Check in to Foursquare

Foursquare is definitely the leader when it comes to users and services in regards to most social location networks (though Facebook is getting better at it). As mentioned before it is the service where I check in to first. I like the point aspect, and I have saved money using deals. Then last week something new happened to me. It seems that another of my old friends from SUNY Brockport had just checked in to Wegmans (a large grocery store chain on the east coast) 16 minutes prior to my arrival. I have not seen said friend since his wedding a few years ago so I was excited to catch up with him. I walked down all isles looking for him, but unfortunately he must have been in and out or only remembered to check in as he left. I was disappointed, but it did leave me happy with the new experience.

When you are out do you check in to any social network? If so, what networks do you use and why?

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About

Brian is the Director of Development and Social Media for Brand Builder Websites where he oversees the development, strategy, and goals for our software development. He is also a huge fan of Android.

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