Doesn’t it seem like everyone has a smart phone today?
In fact, smart phone usage is expected to exceed that of “feature phones” next year. Everyone buying a new phone is going to have a GPS and internet-enabled phone. This means that more and more people are going to be using social networks like Facebook and Foursquare from their phones.
A check-in is the act of broadcasting your location to your social network. Using your phone’s GPS, social networks such as Foursquare pinpoint where you are and let you “check in” at nearby venues. Your friends on these social networks are then alerted that you “have checked in.”
Checking in enables you to connect with friends at nearby venues or meet at new venues. Imagine walking down Peachtree and seeing that your friend has checked into the nearby Starbucks. You can then stop by the same Starbucks and share a cup of coffee. Or, let’s say you see your friend has checked in at a new restaurant downtown. You might ask your friend how he liked the new restaurant and decide where or not to make a future visit there. This is the idea behind location-based social networking.
First step to checking in is you need to own a GPS-enabled smart phone. You can download a number of applications
Once you’ve downloaded a check-in application, you’ll need to create your account, and then you’ll be able to start checking in venues. You’ll only be able to check into venues that are within a certain range of your GPS coordinates.
Many services provide you the ability to share your check-ins on other social networks like Twitter and Facebook. This is a bit of a controversial subject. Pushing these check-ins to other social networks enables other friends to connect with you around where you are or ask questions about where you visited. However, some people may think this is overboard and not care where you are. (They said the same thing about Twitter, who cares if you’re watching TV right now?)
Now that you’re active on location-based social networks, you’ll be able to connect with your friends around locations easier.
You’re also encouraged to explore new venues. Foursquare will alert youwhen they are “trending venues” nearby. This means at least 5 people are checked in at this particular moment. Maybe there’s something going on there you should check out?
Many location-based service include gaming elements to incentivize you to check in more often. Foursquare gives away points and badges to people that achieve specific tasks. One of the more peopluar badges is the Swarm badge, which you earn when you check into a venue where at least 250+ people are checked in. This encourages people to bring groups to check-in. Another popular gaming element is the idea of the “Mayor.” this is awarded to the person that has checked into a particular venue most often over the lat 60 days. Imagine duking out with your friends to become “mayor” of your neighborhood coffee shop or pub.
You can also earn coupons for checking into venues. To incentivize customer visits and word-of-mouth advertising, many brands are offering customers discounts in exchange for checking in. For example, a bar might offer the Mayor a free beer. Or, a restaurant might offer customers a free appetizer on your first check-ins, or a free dessert every 5 check-ins. We’ll talk more about this in a minute.
As a segue into how check-ins apply to use as marketers, to recap, there are three main reasons to check-in on these different service. To meet friends in the real world, to play games, earn badges and become the mayor; and to earn offers and coupons from stores and merchants.
A check-in is almost the perfect storm of activity for a store. A check-in drives a customer to your stores, helps you acquire new customers when someone tells their friends about your store. A check-in is also a very valuable piece of data that can reveal a lot about your customers. A check-in is one of the few “social media action” that is directly correlated to your bottom line.
Why choose to include check-ins and location-based marketing in your marketing mix? Check-ins are growing fast and are an ideal way to drive more traffic to your stores.
Need proof? Here are some existing brands making significant investments in location-based marketing. All of these brands are engaging with customers that check-in in a unique way.
The goal of any advertising for retailers is to create a “check-in” at your venue. Location-based marketing enables you to target people that are likely to visit your venues and actually drive them to your stores. For example, imagine you are a retailer in a mall. Would you rather advertise in a newspaper to people sitting at home eating breakfast, or would you rather advertising to people actually at the mall? Or, imagine knowing that a particular person goes out to eat at least 4 times a week at high-end restaurants. Wouldn’t you want to get that person to visit your restaurant?
We can do a lot of things with location based marketing. We can increase customer visits by giving them reward incentive. We can attract new customres by having our loyal customers share our stores and brands with their friends through check-ins. We we can leverage check-in data to provide the right offers to the right people at the right time.
What do we mean when we talk about location-based marketing data? Here is some of the potential ways you can leverage location-based data and learn more about whom your customers are. Ideally, you’ll be able use this profile of your customer to communicate more effectively with them.
One of the keys for location-based marketing is being able to harness all of the location data out there. Even things as simple as monitoring twitter for people checking into your venues and responding to them is important.
The overall goal is to deliver timely and relevant messages to customers that will drive them to your stores and create evangelists for your brand
Location-based marketing is not coupons, it’s not running deals, it’s not doing email. Location-based marketing is about targeting the right messages at the right time. We’ll explore how to incorporate location-based marketing into these activities.
First step to driving more check-ins is to claim your stores within foursquare or facebook and offer a deal to someone that checks in
Another thing you’ll want to do is message customer that share they are one of your stores. An easy thing you can do it monitor Twitter for check-ins and respond to people checking into your stores.
Can you incorporate check-ins into your existing email, loyalty or SMS programs? For instance, can you create a richer experience and reward existing customers? Can you give new customers another reason to come back and visit? If someone hasn’t checked in within 60 days, do you send them another offer
Can you use check-ins to identify potential customers that may be visiting competitors? Are there opportunities to partner with other venues?
Now that you’re running programs, measure your check-ins and see how your programs are driving more traffic to your venues. Adjust as necessary.
Send right coupons to right people based on where they check into and their habits. Segment your emails to frequent visitors, new customers and lapsed customers. Offer the right promotions based on your learnings from location-based marketing – these are the type of people we attract in this area, and this is what they like to do.
Location-Based Services Overview and 5 Tips for Location-Based Marketing
Overview of Location-Based
How to Get Started with
Co-Founder & CEO
Evolution of social media
What is a check-in?
How to check-in
Location-based marketing overview
5 tips for starting with location-based
5 Tips for Starting With
1. Claim venues and offer
specials to nearby customers
2. Deliver timely, relevant
messages to customers
Message customers when
they check in
• Promotional / Bounce backs
• Future visits
• Retweets / Awareness
3. Automate personalized
Based on check-ins,
• Frequent customers
• New customers
• Lapsed customers
Send thank you messages and
special rewards to best
customers (that must be shared
– buy one get one free)
If a customer hasn’t visited in
last 60 days, automatically send
coupon or offer.
4. Identify your potential customers
Market to potential customers that visit