Guest Post: To check in or not to check in?

Posted by on June 29, 2011

Each semester, MarketWave welcomes interns to our staff and invites them to write guest posts on the MarketWave blog. This week, #SuperIntern Catherine Lewis shared her thoughts on the popular social marketing tool Foursquare.

This month, Foursquare hit an impressive milestone of 10 million users. In case you haven’t heard, Foursquare is a social media outlet that allows users to check in to their favorite locations and rewards them with badges, points and mayorships.

Courtesy of Foursquare

One of Foursquare’s newest  features is the “nearby specials” tab, which shows close-by-venues offering specials for checking in on Foursquare. To further expand on this new offering, the company has partnered with American Express (AMEX). Users can sync their AMEX card to a Foursquare account, which then allows them to automatically purchase the special virtually and receive AMEX benefits. For example, if you spend $75 at H&M and use your AMEX Foursquare account while you are there, you will get $10 credited to your AMEX account. You get paid for shopping? Who wouldn’t like that?

A great new feature to a site with a lot of benefits already! But, just like any other trend, fad or social media site, everyone has their own opinion on Foursquare’s benefits. Some critics even believe checking in on outlets such as Foursquare or Facebook “places” is dangerous.

Courtesy of Foursqure

For example, a website called Please Rob Me was developed last February to inform users of check in dangers. When you check in, the app allows your friends/followers to access the address and map of your location. This is meant to emphasize that if you are checking in to a restaurant, mall, etc., you are broadcasting that you are not home and setting yourself up for danger.

As an avid Foursquare user, I still say go for it! But, like any other social media account, be careful, manage your security settings and always make a smart decision when posting your whereabouts.

What’s your take on location-based social media?

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