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Check-in to the latest social media tactic

Location-based social networking is on the cutting edge of social media marketing. In case you’re not familiar, it’s a system or application that delivers content directly to your mobile device, depending on your location. One of the most popular and well-known applications that utilize this technology is Foursquare. The app allows its users to check-in to any location, whether it is a venue, restaurant, clothing store or even a gas station! Many places on Foursquare have Special Deals that are granted to the user if they check-in to their location either for the first time or a certain amount of times. This is one way location-based applications can be a great tool for companies to draw in consumers.

Location-based social networking can be overwhelming for national or global brands though, so if the bigger companies do take advantage of it, they would start off on a small scale, implementing them in geographic markets. This makes location-based marketing very ideal for small to moderately sized businesses that want to maintain their focus on their own geographic market.

Here are some larger companies that take advantage of not only Foursquare, but the other applications built around location-based social networking:

New York Public Library uses Foursquare to award badges for those who explore public libraries in New York City. A badge is a feature  on Foursquare given when users reach certain milestones with their check-ins. For this badge, users are required to follow New York Public Library and check into three NYPL venues or the New York Public Library 5 times. NYPL badge holders get the opportunity to win free event tickets and participate in behind-the-scenes tours.

JetBlue uses Facebook Places, which is a similar application hosted through Facebook that people can use to check-in and check others in as well. JetBlue awards a certain amount of points for any user that checks-in to an official JetBlue airport location using Facebook Places. When the user accumulates 5000 points, they earn a free flight.

Reebok uses not only Foursquare but also the location-based gaming platform SCVNGR.  Working with Dick’s Sporting Goods, whenever a SCVNGR user would check-in to the store and complete challenges, such as taking and uploading photos of Reebok products, they would receive a $10-off coupon for a pair of RealFlex.

Target uses shopkick, one of the first mass-discount retailers to implement the location-based retail experience app. By checking-in on shopkick, users can earn points called kickbucks and other rewards by entering specific areas of a store. The kickbucks can be redeemed for Target Gift Cards or charitable donations.

H&M used GoldRun (iPhone app), when customers would photograph an item that they were interested in, they would instantly receive a 10 percent discount on any H&M purchase. The app also makes it easy to upload the photos onto Facebook.

No matter the app you use, it appears checking in is here to stay, at least for now anyway. Which of these apps do you currently use or are interested in exploring?

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