Utilizing Facebook Check-Ins for ‘Word of Mouth’ Whenever someone uses the check-in function on Facebook when they visit your business, they are telling all of their friends on Facebook that they are currently at and enjoying your services or products. This then results in free advertising, increased brand awareness, and is essentially an endorsement from that user. Did you know 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? That’s why the more check-ins you can rack up on social media, the better it is for you! Checking in to businesses on Facebook is an easy task for anyone with a smartphone. When a customer comes to your business, they can search your business on Facebook and click the “Check-In” button. (With this kind of exposure, you better make sure your Facebook company page is up-to-date and inviting for potential clients!) It’s a no brainer that Check-Ins are a great way to gain exposure online, but how can you get your customers to do it? Get Them Organically Many times people will check-in for no incentive whatsoever, just to let everyone know what they’re up to. This typically happens when businesses have a strong online presence and are actively engaging with their online fans. It also happens often when the business has a certain product or service that is aesthetically pleasing, like a smoothie bowl or if you’re located in our city, Richmond, and go online often, you may have noticed the whole Mellow Mushroom phase. Everyone with a phone would go pose in front of the Mellow Mushroom wall in Carytown when they visited the restaurant for their first time. It became this trend that everyone had to go get their photo. This of course resulted in tons of free advertisement and word of mouth. If all of your friends are going to this restaurant, what are you doing next Friday night? Going to that place. This is an example of how powerful social media can be when you utilize the power of word-of-mouth through it. Offer Incentives One way to incentivize user’s to check-in when they come to your business is to quite simply, offer an incentive. Foursquare was built on this idea and would offer coupons to anyone who checked in. In a similar fashion, you can offer deals to customers who check-in on Facebook. There’s endless ways to get creative with this approach, but one way we’ve utilized this was for one of our clients who had a yoga studio. They had their clients participate in a challenge of whoever would come to the studio and do the most check-ins in that month would be entered into a drawing to win a gift card. How Many Check-Ins Do You Have? Every bit of online exposure leads to your company’s name populating the newsfeed and timelines of all of your customers’ friends. It’s always good to get an idea and track the number of check-ins you typically get for your business. Here’s how to do it: DESKTOP 1. Go to your business page 2. Click on “Notifications” on the top of the page 3. Click on “Activity” on the left-hand sidebar. 4. Click on “Check-ins”. One thing to keep in mind: If the individual who checked-in has a private profile, you will not be able to see some of their info. MOBILE 1. Download the “Pages” app in the App Store from your smart mobile device. (This is the best way to see check-in’s from mobile devices.) 2. Login to your business page 3. Click on “More” (It’s the “…”) at the bottom of your screen 4. Click on “Check-ins” To learn how to turn check-ins on or off for your business, click here. Free publicity is always beneficial for you and you want to make the most of it with the influence of social media!