Our smart phones offer many different options for "checking-in." Yelp, Gowalla, FourSquare, Facebook places... Many different versions of the yellow pages exist in digital form, allowing anyone and everyone to "check-in" and announce to the world exactly where they are hanging out at that exact moment. Most of these apps on our phones link directly to Facebook and Twitter, giving an even wider audience to each post.
BAM! Free advertising for businesses!
often see these check-in's on Facebook and think to myself, "Man, I
love the burritos there...I need to hit that
place up," or, "I have a coupon to that store, I really should get in
there and use it!" Whether you have a shoe store, restaurant, day spa
or flower shop, you probably have competition out there and if your
customers can give you a leg up by recommending your store via the
check-in, then you should take full advantage!
How can you get your loyal patrons to advertise for you?
some people, it's simply fun to be acknowledged. I visited a costume
jewelry store that had signs everywhere asking customers to "like" their
fan page on Facebook. The store offered to take a photo of the
customer with their new purchase and post it to their fan page. Most
customers than happily scrambled to tag themselves (tagging themselves
also exposes their entire friend list to your store's fan page as
well). It was like they were a celebrity being photographed by
paparazzi in a jewelry store -- fun for them and free
advertising for you.
For others, perhaps offering a discount
will help prod people into checking-in. Maybe if a customer checks into
your store during the check out process, you can offer 10% off. People
love feeling like they got a deal, and they didn't even have to work
very hard for that one. Another thing you can do is a special discount
offer by e-mail when you see that someone has checked in (which will
require some monitoring of your social media sites). More simply, post
on your Twitter and Facebook pages that you will give a discount if the
check-in deal is simply mentioned at check out. It could get people
into your store regardless of whether they actually checked in or not.
can also hold a contest. The customer who checks-in the most over the
month will get a special gift package, discount or gift card to your
The "check-in" certainly won't save the
world, but it can definitely expose your store to new customers. Sit
down and figure out what will best encourage your customers to check-in
and then implement it!
If you need assistance with understanding the checking-in process or monitoring your social media sites, please visit www.socialsonar.com.