Do Mobile Check-Ins Really Matter?

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I have heard this from many of my friends and colleagues… “So what’s the big deal about these check-in things? Seems like a waste of time to me.” I am a big proponent of the mobile check-in, so I often find myself on the defensive trying to convince folks that check-ins really do matter.

So let me start with some stats, since I am sure you’ll want some proof. According to a Pew Internet survey in late 2011, 28% of Americans use mobile or social networking location-based services of some kind. (Pew article) And those numbers are growing. According to Nielsen studies (Social Media Examiner article) we are now up to 40% of social media users accessing social media on their cellphones, and they spend more than other consumers, they are more likely to share their opinions both good and bad, and they are also twice as likely to ‘follow’ companies and brands.

What is really interesting when you talk to folks who say these types of things is that they haven’t yet made the connection from their personal lives and habits to what happens in their business. They will use their phone for everything… interacting on Facebook and Twitter, looking up phone numbers, checking out websites that they saw in advertisements, mobile banking, finding restaurant reviews, and on and on. Yet, they just don’t make the connection that perhaps they need to be doing some stuff in their business that utilizes mobile technologies.

I have also talked to many businesses who have indeed figured it out and are using tools like Foursquare and Facebook Places to connect with their customers, build loyalty, and provide incentives for people to actual step into their business. I have some videos posted below of some testimonials from small business owners who have used these mobile technologies to actually grow their business. Before I show you the videos though, let me give you some action items that you need to do if you want to jump into this with your business:

1. Claim and manage your Foursquare venue(s) then offer some specials to encourage the check-in.
2. Claim and manage your Facebook Places page so that you can offer some check-in deals.
3. Claim and manage your various business listings on the internet that provide check-in features, like Yelp, Google Places, etc.
4. Make sure your employees are trained and know how to use these things so they can speak intelligently to the customers about them.

Now, those are some loaded things there, so they will all take lots of time and effort to set them up, but it’s worth it. Everyone is trying to figure out how to capitalize on mobile, and you need to be thinking about it too because your customers are already there. Yes, mobile check-ins to matter. Alot.

Why mobile check-ins matter & a Foursquare success story

A small business owner tells you what social media has done for her business. Hint: made her more money!

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