Customers may already be checking in at your location, and you might not even know it. So what is checking in? Do you see people walking into a place of business or retail establishment and pulling out their smartphones? If they aren’t checking their latest text message, then they might just be checking in to the location in hopes of claiming a mayor-ship, notifying their friends where they are, or getting special service or deals that the establishment might be offering as an incentive.
And all of these check-in services are now open for comments and ratings—again, you might not even know what customers are saying about you. For the sake of your reputation, to enhance your marketing effort, and improve your findability—go claim or set up your places!
Foursquare isn’t the only check-in service. Some folks check in with Facebook or Google+, so don’t neglect these service sites. The following is a bit of help for the big 3: Facebook, Google and Foursquare.
Places Pages are different then the Pages themselves. So if you have a Facebook Page and you have a brick and mortar business location, you also should set up or search and claim your Facebook Places Page.
The Facebook Places Page houses different information, such as a map with a pin that indicates your location. There is also a format to add your address and your hours of operation, along with other information that searchers will find helpful.
The way Facebook describes it, “Customers share that they’ve visited your business by checking in to your Place. When your customer checks in to your Place, these check-in stories can generate powerful, organic impressions in friends’ News Feeds, extending your brand’s reach to new customers. Best of all, it’s free.” For instructions, click here.
Google Places lets your business appear on a Google map with a pin and allows and customers and visitors to check in. Google Places is now Google Local and doesn’t just pin you on a map, it also allows your customers to check in and to rate and share your location with their connections as well as to the general public. As someone searches in a particular location for a business, restaurant, shopping, or other service or provider, you need to be in it to be an option. Click here to learn more and get you pinned.
Search to see if you are already getting check-ins and if so, claim your location. If not, then set yourself up as a business or location on Foursquare, so that as customers and visitors check in, you begin to gain visibility. Click here to claim your location or to set yourself up.
You can run campaigns and coupons through these services but, at the very least, make sure that you claim your places to manage and monitor your visitors. Rating is now very much apart of these service models and you’ve got to be paying attention to that, too.
Mardy Sitzer is a certified inbound marketing professional and president of Bumblebee Design & Marketing. Since 1993, Mardy has been delivering creative and innovative marketing solutions. An avid reader of all things internet and marketing, she also writes blogs, articles, and web content for industry magazines as well as for Bumblebee’s clients. She is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and instructor at Rutgers University teaching social media for business. Follow her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.