Facebook recently released a list
of the world’s most “social” airports and crowned LAX as king, meaning that more people share (via Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, etc.) that they are at LAX than any other airport in the world. Because smartphones and the Internet allow us to have instant, constant connectivity, location-based services have been on the rise. For whatever reason, people love to “check-in”
at their favorite restaurants, stores, sporting events, and apparently, airports.
Maybe they want to share their location so their friends can join them. Maybe they do it to update their boss/spouse/children/parents of their whereabouts during a trip. Or maybe they do it just to make their friends jealous. Some do it because services like Foursquare make checking-in seem like a game, and reward them with points or badges or other miscellaneous digital swag.
Operators can and should take advantage of this by setting up their business on Foursquare
(a popular location-based social networking website for mobile phones)
or creating a Facebook page and encourage clients to check-in every time they take a trip with that respective company. Operators can even create contests for to entice clients to check-in, i.e. the first X number of people to use your service and check-in X number of times get a gift on their next trip. The gift can be a rebate, a discounted ride, or a coupon of some kind to a partner hotel/spa/restaurant. You could even create a special trip package for clients who have reached a certain number of check-ins and offer it as a night-on-the-town or bar crawl of some kind.
This may work better for retail clients, but a little creative tinkering can help you produce a similar “contest” for corporate clients also. This provides incentive for repeat riders and helps build your company’s brand and exposure, a sort of digital word-of-mouth referral.
— Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor
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