First it was Four Square, then Facebook, and now Google is getting in on the action by integrating its social media platform Google+. About a week ago Google launched its very own coupon check in service for businesses offering a variety of check in options and reason’s to believe that Google+ is indeed setting itself up to remain among the big boys of social media.
The Broad Stuff
This thing is geared towards businesses and is part of the ‘Offer’ options already available in the Google Places dashboard. When you go to the offers section of your Google Places account, you will notice near the bottom of the page the option to initiate the offer upon check in with Google+. The cool thing is that adding the feature is absolutely free so long story short, Google is simply making more options available and giving businesses the opportunity to simply make a choice. Let’s dig a little bit deeper and see exactly how this can help your business, and whether or not it will be a permanent, successful move for Google.
The Nitty Gritty Stuff
This is really a perfect set up for a place of business where customers need to come to a physical location in order to make a purchase. By activating this option you are ensuring that the customer checks in to your location in order to complete the offer. You may even be able to draw them in as the offers are displayed on Google Maps. It is interesting to note that the user does have the option to make the check in private, but it is encouraging to know that even if this is the case that the individual is still engaging with your brand via their mobile device. If the customer follows the basic procedure, they will be sharing the check in with either the public or with their circles made up of friends and peers.
For other businesses (like us at Anvil Media, Inc.), there is no reason to feel like you are missing out, as you can still activate the offers only with no check in required.
So what is the perk for your business and why is this a massive revolution? Well the truth is that it isn’t, but implementing check in offers is another step forward in adjusting to increased mobile usage and the expansion of Google+. While a lot of people have been on standby waiting for the next big thing, many have overlooked the fact that latching on to the latest social ideas and concepts is very safe strategy and in the long run it may very well be about being involved in as many areas as possible.
Will it Stick?
This is not the first check in tool, and it will by no means be the last, but it is nice to see Google get on board and give businesses a free option to include check in offers. We mentioned before that this new addition to Google Places is by no means a revolution, but it is important to state that moves like this should not be ignored. Any way you can begin to engage your customers through mobile is a strategy worth at least some investigation and testing.
Google+ is continuing its slow growth, and options like this will give users more incentive to be active and take advantage of mobile only offers. Our recommendation is to give it a shot. Do we think that Google+ is taking over the world? Not even close, but we do think that is important to test new ideas and stay involved. Sure there is a chance that Google+ goes down in flames and two years down the road Google check in offers are irrelevant, but there is no reason to not engage potential customers in every way as the internet and mobile continue to expand.