“Check-in” social media … hot, hot, hot!

From mashable.com

Check-in sites are starting to pop-up like weeds! I recently just posted about Facebook getting in the game that Foursquare started. Now, Yelp?

Yelp seems to be one of the original sites that really gave consumers a voice. They definitely fulfilled that need. Now they are stepping into the competitive world of socially checking-in to places. When someone does this, it essentially advertises the place to their entire network. And we all know word-of-mouth is the best publicity of all.

This article on Mashable announces Yelp’s attempt to disrupt the market. But you might be asking, what is different about them?

Well, people use Yelp to search for businesses, so while they find the one they want to use, that business can offer them incentives, right there on the spot.

That is definitely a creative way to draw a potential customer in, that may have otherwise passed you up for someone else.

When I do a google search for “check-in app” Facebook dominates the first page! I don’t even see Foursquare, which has been around longer. The smart folks over at Facebook surely must be utilizing search engine optimization, or SEO.

Yelp fits into the category of the disruptive innovator, which we learned about in lecture. A disruptive innovator starts with a product that is good enough (Foursquare, etc) and gives it one advantage.

They took an existing product which is cost effective — it’s already invented and marketed and identified a blind spot or weakness. People really trust what others have to say about a product, so they already have a credible and willing constituency.

It’s too soon to tell if people will respond to Yelp, but they clearly have been observing the marketplace!

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