In June of 2010 I wrote that I wasn't sure I really "GOT" the hole "Checking In" thing - and I wasn't sure I really WANTED people to know where I was all of the time! I had friends, though, who SWORE there was a way to make this work to my advantage... and so reluctantly, and not with a ton of enthusiasm, I checked in - occassionally.
18 months later, I'm ready to say:
I get it!
Social Media is a Conversation - those of us who are doing it, and doing it repetitively, uniquely, AS a Conversation - get that. You can create real relationships with people you never meet in real life... and you will find that as you actually treat each different "channel" as a means of creating a conversation, and you "LISTEN..." you will find people that want to interact with you too!
Here's what I've learned about the "Conversation" MY Friends are having on FourSquare vs just "Checking In":
- MY friends that check-in on Foursquare, love to Check In From Unique Spots. (yours might be different) I have a friend that has 8 spots in his office, including the Water Cooler that he checks in at. So I changed my OFFICE check-in to be "Mortgage World Headquarters." When you check in THERE, and add something about "Mortgage News" - it gets re-tweeted, or commented on.
- MY friends that check-in on Foursquare, never just "Check In." They almost always leave a tip, or a comment about service, or mention something on sale. They are not just "clicking" Check In Here when they are at the Bank... they'll check in, and say "Not here for a robbery!" or something they think is clever.
- MY friends watch their "FourSquare" Stream, and Comment on that platform - for some of my friends, that's the ONLY place they comment. So if you are checking in from your phone - it better be set up so you don't miss messages, questions and comments from friends.
- MY most active FourSquare Friends, for the most part, are not using Facebook very much. It could be a phenomenon, could be my age (or theirs) but they are just posting check-ins routinely on Facebook, and not really interacting there. They are interacting on FourSquare.
I'm not finding as consistent a pattern with "Check Ins" from Google Places or Facebook or Yelp - although, I know that as I checkin with one of those, I'm automatically looking to see who is already there. So especially when I go to a Sporting Event (Go Wolfpack!) , I'm looking to see who is there in case a) I see them and b) I want to connect with them (usually on Twitter or Facebook). Ditto when we go out to eat. (If you are finding something different, I'd love to know about it!)
Am I checking in everyday, and everywhere I go?!? No. I don't do ANYTHING everyday! I'd A.D.D... ! But I can tell you that I'm more tuned in to this particular type of conversation, and I find it interesting, and fun! As a side note - I chose to connect my FourSquare checkins to Twitter, and my friends on FourSquare. I RARELY share info from FourSquare on Facebook - those are different friends, that I am trying to have a different conversation with.
If you have questions for us over at Mortgage World Headquarters, let us know! :-) 919-649-5058