Check-in Madness

November 30, 2010 by admin · 5 Comments 

Green Check Mark

So I claimed all my business’s local listings — in  Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, MerchantCircle, Foursquare, Gowalla, etc.

As a result, I see that many of my customers are checking in when they come to my establishment.

The zaniness that follows those on the endless pursuit of Foursquare badges (I still don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to unlock the “Douche Bag” badge) seems to have merged with the daily deal/flash sale phenomena.

And now all these vendors want me to take one or more of three actions:

  • Post deals to attract “newbies.” (I was told I couldn’t use the term “virgin.”)
  • Reward frequent “checker-inners.’” (Is that even a word?  Why the hell did WordPress spell checker accept it?)
  • Lavish seminal riches upon the “king” (or “mayor” given we ridded ourselves of monarchy some time ago), i.e., the person who checks in the most frequently.

With so many players in the space, I pondered what to do.  I love that a small, local business can be relevant virtually, socially connected, and allow others to promote us to their friends, fans and followers on our behalf.

But . . . how many deals can a small, local business actually handle in the marketplace?  And what about our poor front-line servers/staff?  Many of them don’t “check-in” themselves, as they would rather interact with our customers face-to-face. Plus they don’t really want to interact with their cell phones and have to sort out a multitude of redemption codes.

Send me your thoughts and hopefully I’ll be able to develop (and post) a new, more effective strategy for dealing with this problem!

[Quick update June, 2012: Amazing how waiting can provide clarity.  MerchantCircle and Gowalla have both been bought.  And we have much clarity around the types of customers that align with our business target as well as those who do not.  We are narrowing in on focusing our efforts our Facebook and Foursquare.  What's your latest experience with check-in services?  Please comment.]