Social media is a powerful tool for small business owners to not only improve brand awareness but also increase sales. One potential way to bring more foot traffic into your storefront, drive sales, and generate a profit is through check-ins. If you’ve ever been on Facebook and seen a friend “check in” to a location, that’s what we mean by check-ins. So, how do you increase check-ins for your business?
What Exactly is a Check-In?
Facebook and Yelp are the main social media platforms that allow for public check-ins. This feature allows users’ friends and followers, as well as the general public, to see that check-in and know someone is currently at your business. Check-ins often serve as a word of mouth recommendation, a way to get more exposure for your business, and an opportunity to build up your social presence. Over 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as much as a personal referral, so making sure these check-ins are positive and frequent will help to grow your business [Source: Search Engine Land]. Here are 6 ways to get more check-ins at your business.
How to Get More Check-Ins at Your Business
Everyone loves a good discount, especially on a product or service they love and recommend! An effective way to get more social media check-ins is by offering a discount or free gift with purchase when someone checks in at your business. Offer additional discounts if they agree to accompany their check-in with a positive review, or a refer-a-friend discount if they find your business through that check-in.
Offer special perks for your most frequent guests, such as access to after-hours sales, special wine nights to celebrate special releases, and VIP invites to influencer events, and holiday parties. You can also provide additional or larger discounts for the first 5-10 people who check in, making others more likely to do the same later down the line. Making sure your biggest supporters feel valued is key to getting more check-ins at your business.
If people don’t know about your check-in perks, how will they ever know about your great discounts and offers? Advertising your active promotions is a great way to get more check-ins at your business. Advertising on your social media profiles, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, in your storefront, via email, or even in your local newspaper are all great ways to spread the word about your check-in discounts. Don’t forget to mention any terms or conditions your promotion may have, such as expiration date or limit. Doing this can be as simple as putting a sign up by the checkout saying “Check in on Facebook—show us your check-in post and get 10% off your purchase!”
Partner With Other Businesses or Charities
A great way to build profitable business partnerships, while also increasing your own sales, digital presence, and getting more check-ins, is by partnering with other local businesses and charities. Connect with local business owners about their own check-in goals and current metrics and develop a strategy. Consider donating a portion of proceeds to a local charity for every check-in you receive, or offering a greater discount when the customer shops at both businesses. Make sure the partner you choose also agrees to promote your discount or charitable donation so you can receive additional social media attention. Partnering with a local business or charity will help to increase your brand awareness and get more check-ins at your business.
Encourage Employee Check-Ins
While it may feel like cheating, one of your best ways to guarantee check-ins at your business is to encourage employee check-ins. Employees are typically happy to help out with tasks like this that don’t require a lot of time or effort on their end. Asking your employees to check in at your business will help to get your business seen by their friends, family, and followers, and prompting them to do the same. You can also make it a competition by offering a reward for the employee that refers the most check-ins through their network! Keeping it light-hearted and fun will drive your staff to help you get more check-ins at your business.
Repost User-Generated Content
A great way to get more customers to check-in at your business is by reposting their content. Reposting user-generated content will make your audience feel valued and inspire them to return and check-in again. Any photos you are tagged in on social media by customers, especially ones that mention your check-in offerings, is a great way to make your audience aware of your discounts, and show appreciation for your loyal customers.