The art of the check-in
As Facebook announces its revenue growth from mobile advertising and Foursquare’s userbase tops 10m, it is worth looking again at the value of the “check-in”, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses. Intuit have recently published an infographic on their small business blog that determines how small businesses and users are slowly catching on to the importance of getting customers to “check-in” when they visit a specific location.
They offer three helpful tips for encouraging check-ins:
1. Offer a special or two. Your goal is to reward your most loyal customers and to attract new ones. You can do so by offering two different specials: one for customers who check in frequently (or just for the “mayor,” the person who’s logged the most check-ins on Foursquare) at your place, and another for customers checking in for the first time. The latter could be a discount on their first purchase.
2. Encourage groups. Want to draw a bunch of people to your business at a certain time? Create a special offer on Foursquare that gets unlocked when a “swarm” of people check in within a certain amount of time. Don’t need that many people? Make an offer that requires the patron to arrive with a specific number of friends, colleagues, or family members. For instance, offer a free dessert to a party of four or more.
3. Don’t give it all away. You don’t necessarily need to offer freebies or discounts, though those certainly are attractive to customers. Get creative and think about other perks that people may enjoy, such as special treatment or access. For example, reserve parking spots for people who check in, let them skip the line for a special event, or provide a behind-the-scenes exclusive preview of an upcoming product or service