Last year, we reported that 4 out of 5 Facebook users have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network site. Since then, social advertising’s effectiveness is still struggling. Today, a new platform aims to increase social ad’s relevancy and delivery.

Targeted Social Advertising

Social advertising company 140 Proof has launched Check-in Targeting for social ads, which allows brand advertisers to deliver relevant ads to targeted audiences based on their “check-ins” at particular locations. By combining interest graph targeting with location based check-in targeting, Check-in Targeting aims to connect advertisers with custom audiences when they check-in to locations or events.

Designed to be most effective at large events, from SXSW to the Superbowl, advertisers can use Check-in Targeting alongside Facebook or Foursquare data to deliver shareable ads within the social stream of everyone who “checked in” to a specific location or venue.

The State of Social Check-Ins

While this sounds pretty cool, it’s probably only effective if you know that your fans or customers will be checking into a location. We had to wonder -- how many fans still do this?

Obviously, when Foursquare and Facebook Check-in were released, it was just as common to check-in to a restaurant or event as it has become to Instagram your food. But with many more location-based apps available, how many people makes check-in a part of their normal mobile behavior?

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According to Nielsen’s State of Social Media 2012, both Facebook and Foursquare rank among the top mobile apps for US mobile users. Additionally, last month Foursquare published a map of the world which aimed to show exactly what 500 million check-ins look like. It has been estimated that Foursquare collects approximately 5 million check-ins per day.

Furthermore, it looks like that location-based social apps may be the one area in which customers may not mind being targeted with ads. In Nielsen’s report, it found that while 33 percent agree that ads on social networking sites are more annoying than other online ads, 26 percent said they’d be more likely to pay attention to an ad that has been posted by one of their social network acquaintances.

Unlocking Check-In's Potential

The secret behind effective social media check-ins is to promote your brand's presence. Conferences and big events that ask attendees to check in or let them know that there are incentives for checking in can help drive traffic. More traffic, more data. However, like any platform you deploy to engage users, it's always important to understand the behaviors of your audience. If your audience is engaged with location-based services, 140 Proof's Check-in Targeting can help you leverage their presence even further.