“Checking in” isn’t just for hotels and doctors appointments anymore. Lately millions of people use their phones to share their current locations via platforms like Foursquare and Facebook places. After checking-in a certain number of times, users can unlock and collect badges that reflect their usage.
Foursquare can be extremely beneficial to companies because customers can also attach comments about their locations when they check in. These comments can books a company’s reputation or shatter it. Sharing your location is a great for exposing your Facebook friends or Twitter followers to new businesses, restaurants or stores in their area. It’s essentially word of mouth on crack. Checking in can bring people together without using an outdated phone tree; it can expose shoddy service at an instant and can spread praise like wildfire.
Not only can it give a new way to promote a business it provides a new way of rewarding your customers. Some businesses give customers free food or discounts for checking in the first time and bigger rewards for continued loyalty. Businesses now have a new way to measure how many people visit their locations in a day. Check ins are another way to keep track of their peek hours and days.
However, like everything, there is a downside. Foursquare could essentially be the end of privacy. Although you do choose to share where you are and you choose which medium you share your location through, there are people who tend to over share. Do you really need to tell people you are in “your bed” located in “your house”? There will always be at least one over sharing friend.
On the other end of the spectrum there are the followers who follow a little too closely. Checking in places is really the best way to let your stalkers know how to find you. Bosses too could follow your every move. What if you accidentally spent your extra long “client lunch” getting a pedicure and you mechanically accidentally checked in? Busted.
Originally Published on: Mar 10, 2011 @ 18:10