Today’s small businesses know how important social media check-ins are to getting their information in front of consumers. As the number of smartphone users has continued to grow, check-ins have continued to increase, gradually becoming an easy way for social media users to share enthusiasm about a business or its products.
Some businesses assume that check-ins happen naturally, with the business owner having no control over whether or not a customer checks in. But competition is fierce for social media mentions and many businesses are finding that their competitors are getting check-ins when they aren’t. Based on recent research that found that one in five smartphone users checks in to publicly announce his or her location, Intuit recently published the below infographic, providing businesses with tips on how to encourage check-ins. Here are a few of the highlights:
- When a user checks in, he or she may leave tips or recommendations behind. This can be beneficial to a business, who will have this feedback, in addition to content for that business’s social media site.
- Special offers are popular with consumers, who like to feel they’re getting something special in exchange for checking into a business’s page. Some businesses have offered free samples or special coupons in exchange for a check-in. This not only shows loyalty toward these customers, it ensures the business’s information will be spread throughout those customers’ social networks.
- Reward new customers separately from existing customers. Intuit recommends offering two specials–one for customers who check in frequently and another for first-time check-ins.
- Host a special event. Offer a special that gets “unlocked” if the number of people that check in at a specific date and time reaches a specific number. This is a fun way to get a large number of check-ins in a short time period.
- Perks don’t have to be freebies. Free products and services aren’t the only way to get customers to check in. Consider offering perks, like VIP parking for the first ten guests to check in or allow them to enter your venue without waiting in line in exchange for a check-in.
- Promote check-ins. You’ve probably seen businesses advertising “Like us on Facebook.” Invitations to check in can be done the same way. Also consider inviting check-ins on your other social media sites, as well as your business website.
- Be active. Let your customers know you’re listening by regularly responding to comments. Even when something negative is posted, find a way to gracefully take part in the conversation, Intuit advises.
As Intuit points out, “The number of people check in is relatively small compared to those engaging in other mobile activities, but it’s growing, along with the number of businesses using the services to market to new and existing customers.” By following Intuit’s tips, small businesses can position themselves to compete in today’s social media-driven world.