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What’s the Real Deal with Checking In?

Monday, June 11th, 2012 by Erin Peters

Does this sound familiar? Your business has a Facebook page and a few check-ins on Foursquare but your audience isn’t growing. You can’t remember the last time you saw a new “Like” or check-in, and you’re wondering if it’s time to give up on the social media fad altogether.

Before you give up, have you thought about what drives people to click “Like” or check in?

The answer is simple: Deals.

The bottom line is people like to save money. If liking your Facebook page or checking into your location on Foursquare can help them save money, people will be more likely to click “Like” or check in.

These social media deals can also help bring a new customer base to your business. If you are a restaurant owner who promotes deals on Facebook, potential customers might see that special and change their lunch plans to come to your restaurant.

All because you offer an online deal.

With City Wok, a Southern California Chinese restaurant and Graphtek client, we use a few different social media deals to grow the restaurant’s brand recognition, audience and, ultimately, profits. For example, City Wok’s Facebook fans enjoy a weekly deal when they say the secret word found exclusively on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

And customers who check in on Foursquare get a unique special when they show their phone to their server. As an added bonus, City Wok rewards check-in loyalty by rewarding the Foursquare mayor (the person who has checked in the most over the last 60 days) with a special discount on their order.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when launching your social media deals:

  • Promote: Let your audience know they can get a special deal by checking in on Foursquare or liking your Facebook page. Consider putting a sign in your window or near your registers to let your existing customers know about your online promotions. And once customers start liking your Facebook page, communicate with your growing audience by engaging them and having conversations online. Don’t be afraid to cross-promote, either: City Wok’s Facebook page is regularly used to let fans know about Foursquare check-in specials.
  • Be Consistent: Offering consistent deals on Facebook or Foursquare will help build brand loyalty as your audience will begin to check your social media pages regularly. If you consistently have a weekly Foursquare check-in deal or Facebook promotion, you’ll also continue to attract new customers who find your specials while using social media. Graphtek has worked with City Wok to build a loyal audience by consistently offering new deals on Facebook and Foursquare each week.
  • Train Your Staff: When setting up your promotions, be sure to establish a method of internal communication that will keep your staff educated on the current deals and how customers can redeem them. It can be discouraging to customers when they have a difficult time redeeming a deal, but a painless redemption process will help build brand loyalty and bring customers through your doors time and time again. City Wok issues a weekly memo to its staff to ensure they are aware of all check-in and Facebook deals.
  • Track Results: As with any marketing strategy, you need to track results to measure the effectiveness of your promotions. How many customers are coming in and asking for the Facebook special? How many people are checking in to your location on Foursquare? Implement a method to effectively track these results. At City Wok, each promotion is redeemed through a unique code in the POS system, making promotion tracking a breeze.

Is your business ready to cash in with a social media marketing strategy that builds customer loyalty through check-in specials and Facebook deals? Contact Graphtek today to get started!

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