Often when I’m eating out or shopping with friends, one of my mates will ‘check us in’ for the whole of Facebook to see. For example: Michael Webley and John Smith are at Global Shopping World. Aside from letting those pesky stalkers know exactly where you are, it also shows all of your friends where you are eating/shopping/working/playing if you choose to share it. To most users of Facebook this location service is simply another way to follow your friends.  However businesses in the US have begun using location based social networking services as another way to market to consumers.

The idea is simple. The business will offer a discount or special to any customer that ‘checks-in’ at their store. For those who aren’t so tech savvy, ‘checking-in’ involves posting onto Facebook or another social networking site where you are and what you are doing. The ‘check-in’ can be seen by all of your followers which is of great value to any business you check in to. It is the equivalent of your own mini advertisement or endorsement of that business. It brings the business to the forefront of people’s minds and because you’ve been there, it may encourage or persuade your online friends to go as well.

In the US last year, retailer GAP was extremely successful in creating customer awareness through geo marketing. They gave customers the chance of winning 1 of 10,000 pairs of jeans through checking in at one of their stores across the country. If a customer missed out, they still received 40% any regularly priced item. This bought thousand of people streaming into their stores all across America.

Australia is slowly catching on, with restaurant chains and hotel groups beginning to use location based social networking services as another tool in their marketing arsenal. Asian noodle chain Wagamama and chicken restaurant Nando’s are both offering special deals to those customers that check in at their locations.

So what are you waiting for? Go see if you can ‘check-in’ on some of the deals today.


  1. 19 September 2011
    Deals Monkey

    good post… very informative..

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