Written by Alex Pirouz
Since its launch in August 2010, the Facebook location-based feature, “Check In,” has quickly created its presence amongst millions of users who use it to share with their friends what they are currently up to in real time.
It has also become another powerful Facebook marketing tool for businesses, who can design campaigns around the check in service to build awareness, grow their fan base and engage and reward customers.
Each time a Facebook user checks in to a particular location on Facebook Places, Facebook broadcasts the check in to that user’s friends’ news feeds.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I knew the product was ready when I was showing it off to my girlfriend at a restaurant in a town I didn’t usually go to. She noticed that some friends of hers she hadn’t seen in awhile were at a restaurant next door to us, and suggested we go say hello.”
What does that mean for your business?
Well, it means that Facebook is providing your business with a powerful tool for promoting your business, expanding your customer base, and marketing your brand.
Statistics show that on average most Facebook users have 120 friends per account. If you were to offer a special discount or promotional item for customers who show that they have checked in with Facebook Places during the current visit, imagine what the viral effect of your company could be.
If you had 100 clients walk into your retail store on a weekly basis and offered them a valuable incentive to “check in,” and out of those 100, 30 clients took you up on the offer, that would mean that on average 3,600 of their friends would be notified.
Now imagine if your offer encouraged their friends to also check in, and by doing so they would get a special offer or gift. It could be quite lucrative. The possibilities are endless!
The business can use signs in the store, or at the cash register, as well as Twitter and Facebook to encourage users to check-in to Facebook Places to receive the special offer.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising, which is why a lot more location-based services are using Facebook to promote their brand and gain exposure.