By Stephanie Ciccarelli
October 20, 2010
Many social networks nowadays now give the option to identify your location when you update your status. This is called a "check in."
Today on VOX Daily, we'll look at Foursquare, the pioneer of this trend, Facebook Places and Twitter Places. More importantly, we'll talk about when and why you might want to make an update business-wise that shares your location.
When and why you might want to update your location? For most people, the only reasons why they might do this is when they are participating in something to do with work or their career.
Here are some of the most common places that you might want to "check in" so to speak and the potential benefits of doing so.
Traveling on Business
When attending an industry conference, you can let friends and industry colleagues know that you are going to be there. If you do this strategically, you can also connect with people while you are there who are following you. Letting others know what session you're in may be beneficial and enable you to meet up with a friend during or after the session lets out.
Interesting Local Business Activity
When visiting an important client, making a pitch, teaching, or attending a recording studio session or voice acting workshop, these are great opportunities to show that you are a working professional and that you literally get out of the house to do business... plus, you never know who might be in the area. You might get a message from somebody else, maybe another client for example, who asks to schedule a session with you, to visit or go out for coffee later.
Foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so. They do this by combining Foursquare's friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics. Users earn points, win Mayorships and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites. As a business owner, you can use foursquare to engage your increasingly mobile customers with foursquare "Specials," which are discounts and prizes you can offer your loyal customers when they check in on foursquare at your venue.
Facebook Places allows you to check in. Your check in update will appear on the Place page, your friends' News Feed and your Wall. You can also tag the friends you're with so they can be part of your update. Another feature of this service is that you'll appear in "Here Now" to friends and others nearby who are also checked in.
At Twitter, you can now tag Tweets with specific places, and in the process, potentially create new Twitter Places that haven't yet been tagged by other people. You can also click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location. This comes in handy when you are at a specific place, let's say a concert, and want to see what other people at the same venue are doing, observing or saying.
Are You Using Location-based Services?
Why or why not? If so, what kind of places do you check in to?