“Check-In” Marketing

MapWith the popularity of location-based applications for mobile Internet devices, it seems like everyone is “checking-in” these days. Popular applications like Foursquare, BrightKite and Dodgeball are being downloaded more and more everyday by users who want to share their locations with people in their social network. Even Internet giants like Facebook are developing their own application that allows users to easily share their location with other people they know. At any point in time, if you are using one of these applications, you can notify people exactly where you are.

How Can This Help You?

Every time someone checks in at one of your business’ locations (like at our Internet marketing firm, for example), your company name will be published to their news feeds, which is visible to every person in their social network. This could stir up a lot of local business for your company. Potential prospects will see your business’ name on their friends and family’s newsfeeds, which will reinforce your branding efforts and help you to catch the attention of people who might not be familiar with your business. Your name could be scattered through your existing clients’ social networks with minimal effort.

How Does It Work?

All you have to do is make sure that your locations are discoverable by all of the most popular location-based applications available. This is easier than it sounds. If you have a smartphone, download some of the more commonly used applications and create a discoverable location for your company. Make sure your business’ name is properly spelled and include some key selling points in the location description. For example: if your company’s name is “Ray’s Coffee Shop,” make sure that the location is properly spelled and corresponds with your branding efforts. In the description, include a tagline that will make people want to come to your location and purchase your products or services. You could say something like: “For the best coffee in town, come to Ray’s.” After that is set up, people that are close to your geographic location will be able to see your business’ name, see that you provide the “best coffee in town” and will be able to tell their friends that they approve of your business when they check-in to your location and it is published on their social media news feeds.

If you are brand-conscious, our Internet marketing firm suggests you make sure that you input your company’s name to match your branding efforts. If you have been marketing your company as “Ray’s Coffee Shop” and a customer creates a location for your business that simply says “Ray’s” your branding efforts could potentially be nullified. The best way to avoid this confusion is to create the location yourself so that when people visit your location and look to check-in, they will see the name of your business clearly and will be more likely to check-in to the right location, because it will appear to be more credible.

User Feedback

After they check-in, users are also given the option to leave comments about your location that other people can see. Positive experiences brood positive results. If your customers are leaving comments that reaffirm the quality of your products and services, more people will be inclined to visit your location and find out what the buzz is all about. But that comes with a cost.

If customers come to your site and aren’t happy with your products or services, they have an easier way to tell people. To refer back to our example, if you have a bunch of comments that are attached to your location that says “Worst coffee I have ever had” people are going to be discouraged about doing business with you. Now, there are always a few people out there that cannot be satisfied, no matter how hard you try, so the best way to avoid having negative reviews associated with your location is to encourage your regular customers to leave positive feedback for your location. If that isn’t an option, appeal to their thrifty side. Part of the fun with using these applications includes being awarded for taking part in checking-in and receiving awards for traveling to various locations. Spark your customer’s competitive side by offering promotional pricing for anyone who has obtained the honor of being the person who visits your location the most.

The important thing to remember is that this type of advertising needs to be watched over to ensure reputation management and the branding assistance you are interested in is protected.

At Prager, we know how to uphold a good reputation, and we can do the same for your company! Contact us today.

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