“Checking in” or sharing your physical location is gaining in popularity, but not without it’s reasons for concern. I recently sat in on an American Marketing Association (AMA) webinar by Survey Sampling International (SSI): Taming the Social Networking Giant: Harnessing the Power of New Media for Market Research. One of the findings SSI presented was with respect to sharing your location using apps like Foursquare or Facebook Places.
I was relatively surprised to see that a majority of respondents were slightly to extremely concerned with sharing their physical location. I wonder if the numbers would be the same for virtual locations. How cool it would be to be sitting on a webinar, or at a virtual tradeshow and “check-in”. The more we communicate and collaborate online with peers, friends, family, etc. the more the opportunity to “check into” our virtual locations. Foursquare did this with the Super Bowl and it proved to be the largest virtual audience ever for the company.
Perhaps when it comes to B2B marketing and the many webinars and virtual trade shows we may attend, we should have an option to “check in” that is then shared with our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn friends, family, peers, etc. It’s impossible to keep up with all of the virtual events that are happening, and equally as hard to determine which ones would be worth our time. If I see that my buddy Rich Harris has checked in to an event on say social media, I may be more inclined to attend that event. Maybe it’s as simple as a #event on Twitter. What’s more, it provides a venue to interact with your network about what the presented is sharing, what you are learning, as well as a source for the presenting company to experience unfiltered feedback and commentary.
Maybe the application of “virtual check ins” is already happening to some degree, I have not seen it on any of the webinars I have attended.