If you’re a Smartphone user you’ve probably heard of Foursquare. It’s a website that allows you download a free app for your Smartphone (and iPhone, of course) that enables you to ‘check in’ wherever you may be. The more places you check in to, the more ‘points’ you receive. These points are then converted into badges, and even mayor ships (if you happen to have checked in to a particular place more times than anyone else).
It’s very addictive, and you can even publish your check-ins to your Facebook and Twitter, so that non Foursquare users can see where you are. Think of it as a sort of ‘reverse stalking’. If the place in which you want to check in to isn’t listed, you can add it and then check in. This gives you even more points!
In answer to this, Facebook recently launched Facebook places in a select few countries, including the UK. This works in much the same way, allowing you to check in on Facebook. As with Foursquare, if a place isn’t already listed on Facebook you can add it for extra kudos. For the completists out there, this means you need to fire up your Smartphone and check in on Foursquare and Facebook whenever you go anywhere… it gets worse. Now, not to be outdone, Google has decided to enter the fray with its own system.
In order to facilitate this in the USA, Google is planning to hand out, free of charge, millions of devices to businesses around the United States that will enable users to check in to their business via their phones. The devices are also set to allow people to make purchases using their phones, and rate the businesses.
All of these systems have practical applications for Internet marketing, and utilising them correctly will help both your online brand awareness, and your website’s SEO.