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Ultimate List of Check-In Apps for Local Businesses

Posted on 6.30.2014

Social media is no longer an emerging platform. Its benefits and uses are well documented (we have an entire blog channel devoted to social media). The trick for businesses is to leverage the right platform to help them drive more traffic to their websites as well as increase sales.

Check-in apps are a great way for businesses to have their customers advertise for them. By “checking in” customers let everyone who follows them know where they are, essentially advertising their support for a business.

In a survey of 2,252 U.S. adults 18 years and older conducted by Pew Research Center, just 12 percent of respondents said they check-in using apps like Foursquare and Yelp. However, considering there around 132 million people that use Yelp each month, 12 percent of Yelp users alone amounts to over 15.8 million users that potentially could be checking in each month.


The number of people who sign into Facebook each month and interact on the social platform (otherwise known as “active users”) is around 1.3 billion. If we use Pew’s statistic for the average number of people who use the check-in feature on the projected number of Facebook users during June, we still get an impressive 156 million people. For businesses the chance of marketing and connecting with 156 million people should be a no-brainer.


While the amount of Google+ users pales in comparison to that of Facebook and Twitter (300 million compared to 1.4 billion and 645 million respectively), Google+ is still alive and well. It is not clear whether or not check-ins directly counts toward improving a business’s search rankings but we do know that staying active on your Google+ page does. Considering keeping active on Google+ is vital for search rankings, check-ins are an intriguing option to keep your business as well as your customers active on your page.

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Who doesn’t like to do a little good? Check-in for Good enables businesses to do two things at once. The first is to drive sales by offering an incentive for customers to check in. The second (a.k.a the incentive for customers), is that for every check-in a company receives, they donate a certain amount of money to a charity of their choosing. While the customers do not get anything material for their incentive they get to know by their simple act of touching their phone screen they helped donate to a charity in need. If you do not believe a charitable incentive will work just look at the popularity of shoe company TOMS


After Yelp introduced their check-in feature in 2010 Urbanspoon was quick to replicate the technology allowing their users to check-in just one year later. With over 3 million users, Urbanspoon comes in at number two on’s Top 9 iPhone Restaurant Guide Apps. Even though Yelp has more users than Urbanspoon, the restaurant review service still reaches a large audience that is constantly active on the site and app.

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