Location Wars – The Strategy Behind Online Locations and Check-ins
Browse through your personal social media feeds – Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. It’s very likely that at least one of your friends or connections has checked-in at a restaurant, park, or local venue. Social media today not only allows us to update how we are feeling or what we are doing, but it also allows us to share our location with our friends and followers.
Majority of today’s most popular social media platforms offer some sort of check-in or online location tagging option. When location tagging first started a few years back, it seemed a little creepy. Why on Earth would you want to share your location with strangers? However, location check-ins do much more than just tell us where our connections are. Similar to the way businesses use status updates, they can strategically use online locations and check-ins to increase visibility of their brand or product, grow their audience, and potentially bring in sales.
Businesses who have yet to create their location or use check-ins and tagging are missing out on a major opportunity to reach their hottest targets at the perfect moment. Users who tag their locations are prime targets for businesses as they are already invested by being present at the location.
Here are five reasons businesses can and should be taking advantage of location tagging and check-ins.
- Visibility: When users check into a location, their entire audience is now aware of where they are. Perhaps it’s a new restaurant or art exhibit in town – seeing a friend check-in can pique interest in that location, leading to plans to check it out. This means that from one check-in, hundreds or even thousands of other users are potentially aware of or inclined to go to an establishment.
- Traffic: When a user checks into a business, the check-in automatically links to the company’s page on that platform. One click takes interested consumers to the company page or one dedicated to it so be sure the page is up-to-date with the ideal information for an audience to see.
- Instant Reviews: Check-ins usually allow a comment or attachment to accompany the check-in so when people tag their location, it’s paired with an instant review. For example, Instagram photos of food at a restaurant often have captions describing how delicious the meal is. Or check-ins at events are often paired with a statuses like “The new exhibit at the SF MOMA is to die for!” The combination of a check-in plus a solid instant review is more than enough to convince curious friends or followers to check it out themselves.
- Sales: Sites like Yelp or Foursquare allow companies to easily offer coupons or discounts for checking into a location. This strategy works in a couple ways – it benefits those who are already coming to the business, rewarding them and leaving them satisfied enough to return or bring more business in by sharing the deal with friends; or entices those in close vicinity who searched for something similar to check out your establishment instead.
- Conversation: Perhaps the biggest value of location tagging to a business is the ability to connect and directly engage with consumers as check-ins give businesses a real time view of what people are doing, thinking, or, most importantly, saying. Businesses can then reach out to consumers further enhance a positive experience or offer a solution to a negative one. Developing a relationship with a consumer is a major step in the direction of creating and maintaining customer loyalty.
The advent and subsequent popularity of social media has benefited businesses in ways never imaginable a decade ago. As social media users continue to share their locations and thoughts with their friends and followers, businesses should seize the opportunity and use it to their benefit. There is plenty of opportunity to increase visibility, grow an audience, and rake in more sales when location tagging and check-ins are used strategically.
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