“Checking In” is a phrase that we will hear more often as Google Latitude joins Foursquare and Facebook Places in tapping into Location Based Social Media.
Let’s see. Facebook expanded its ‘Deals’ feature beyond the U.S. to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK on 31st Jan 2011. These ‘deals’ allows mobile users to find discounts at nearby stores.
Google Latitude which was introduced back in February of 2009 added ‘Check-Ins’ to its function on 1st Feb 2011. Hmmm, seems like the big players are intent on making local deals part of this location based game.
Here’s a video that shows how Latitude works
I think Google Latitude has quite a bt to catch up with Foursqare and Facebook Places in this aspect but some uniques features which differential Latitude from Facebook or Foursquare include a notification feature that reminds you to check-in, or even automatically check-in for you at designated places and an automatic check out program for commonly visited places.
And instead of getting badges or becoming a mayor (as is the case in Foursquare) you become a VIP or a Guru in if you use Latitude. By the way, Latitude taps into Google Places, Maps and Hot Pots making this a complete Google suite for LBS. It will be interesting to see how mobile users choose between these major players.
Whichever player you choose when you are on the go with your mobile device, one thing is clear. As more people use smartphones and get into the habit of using social local searches (hot pots and what nots), a new way of marketing is emerging.
Many local businesses are now seeing the importance of being found and seen on local searches. They are getting themselves ready to tap into this new wave of location based social media. Claiming your local place and setting up specials or deals is gaining importance. If you are a local business, my guess is that you will want to get ready for this new wave of marketing.
If you like to set yourself up on local searches and location based social media, drop by for a chat. Traditional marketing works and (not but) you’ll also want to get ready for local, social and mobile marketing to promote your products and services. Drop by for a no obligation chat – all you have to do is set aside time.
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