Facebook Places: check out the check-in
You may have noticed the fact that your Facebook friends have ‘checked-in’ appearing on your timeline. This is thanks to Facebook Places – a concept that allows businesses to have a virtual online location where people tag themselves, and let friends know where they are at a certain point in time. All this can be cleverly used in your marketing efforts, and we’ll tell you how…
But wait a minute… what is the difference between a Facebook Place and a Facebook Page?
Facebook Places is Facebook’s answer to location based social networks. Businesses have the ability to go into Facebook and set up a “Place” which will allow Facebook users to check in via a mobile device.
Facebook Fan Pages allow you to connect with “fans” of your business and post updates about your business as well as allow you to update your profile whenever you want. Read more in our Facebook Pages article.
How will this benefit your establishment?
When a customer ‘checks-in’ to your establishment via their cell phone or tablet, this is posted on their own wall as well as on the timelines of everyone linked to them. Your brand name is broadcast to these potential customers.
Research has shown that people usually attach importance to the opinions of friends, so they will be more likely to consider using your business if they’ve seen your name on a friend’s timeline before.
By spending a few minutes setting up your Facebook Place, you open up an additional word-of-mouth channel to your business. Free advertising in exchange for a bit of typing!
It will be to your benefit to make sure that your guests check-in to your establishment on Facebook too. Let them know when they check in at reception, that they can also check in on Facebook. And if you want to encourage this even more, consider a couple of incentives:
Special Offers For Check-Ins: Consider providing special discounts to customers who show that they have checked in to your establishment during their visit. You can advertise this at reception, or broadcast it on Twitter or your current Facebook Page. You can possibly offer a percentage discount on future bookings or even a free breakfast. Remember, this is in exchange for the free exposure your business gets from the Facebook check-in.
Rewarding Customer Loyalty: Repeat customers are usually the driving force of any business, and therefore you should also aim to keep them coming back by providing a special incentive upon every certain number of Facebook check-ins. For example, offer someone a free night’s accommodation on every tenth check-in. Rewarding your customers for checking in will give them an incentive to return.
Facebook Places is a free and powerful way to advertise and get your name out there. It literally places your business on the map! Look out for our article where we will explain the step-by-step actions that you need to follow to claim your Facebook Place.