Do you “check-in?”
For those of you who are avid Foursquare users, you know exactly what I am talking about. Location-based apps have become increasingly popular with the rise in social media. People enjoy knowing the whereabouts of their friends and businesses like it because they are better able to connect with their customers.
The motive for the average user of apps like Foursquare is for the gaming effects and special deals, badges, mayorships and more. However, if you are trying to develop your online personal brand you can really use these apps to your advantage. The places you check in at and the comments you make reveal a lot about your online image and brand.
Think before you check-in
Similar to think “think before you tweet” as I discussed in my last post Twitter Etiquette, think before you check-in.
If you are using social media to network with people in your field or get a job, it is important to be professional but also a human being with personal interests. This goes back to what I mentioned in my first post, Your Online Personal Brand, about infusing your personality and passion with your professionalism online.
I’m not saying you can’t ever check in at a bar, because after all, I think most go to a bar every once in awhile, right? (Some people more often than others) My point is to be aware of how often you are checking in at places that could harm your personal brand if you are trying to further your career.
For example, if you are in college and seeking an internship, it is probably not a good idea to be checking in at bars 4-5 times a week. Also keep comments to a minimum when checking in at these places and always ask yourself if you would be okay with anyone seeing what you are posting. (After all, the Internet is for EVERYONE)
Second, I have found there are some really interesting places you could visit and check in at around your city to show how interesting you are! If you are having a hard time establishing your brand or sparking a conversation with people, this could be key for you. Sometimes all it takes is a simple check-in.
A recent check-in of mine at an Italian restaurant sparked a fun conversation with a Twitter follower. Do you enjoy visiting museums, shows, parks, farmers markets or dog shelters? These are great places to show how culturally-aware and involved you are. You can check in anywhere (you can even create your own “place”) so take advantage of this.
Location-based apps can be a lot of fun; however, there is always the chance of addiction (I know some people who use 3-4 location apps) or harm to your reputation if not used with care. Just be true to yourself, follow your passions and remember to check-in responsibly.
Emily graduated from the Walter Cronkite school at Arizona State University with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication (Public Relations). She gained experience with internships at a Phoenix radio station and 944 Magazine, where she developed editorial content and coordinated high profile events like NBA All Star Weekend and Scottsdale Fashion Week. She also worked for NBC Universal and was ASU’s president Public Relations Student Society of America. Emily is now an active member of P.R.S.A and is currently working as a social media manager for Rich Chicks, a prosperity-based Minnesota company and Simply Green Solutions, an eco-friendly California company. A Minnesota native, she launched her blog seattlesota.com about her efforts on moving to Seattle for a full time PR or social media position and how she used Twitter to make connections. She is passionate about sports, music, traveling, cooking and tweeting! Follow her on Twitter @emilybratkovich and connect on LinkedIn.