Use Facebook Check-Ins for Viral Marketing
Photo posts, link posts, status posts and even video posts reach a small percentage of total Facebook fans now. As a social media manager, I wonder is it even worth it to post anymore? Social sharing is one way to circumvent Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm. The truth is, it is hard to hit a content home run everyday. There will be singles, doubles, and the occasional strikeout. However, one feature has developed into a viable way to maintain -- and even grow audience reach. Your new pinch hitter is the Facebook Check-In. Prepare to bat a thousand. We've talked about Facebook Check-Ins before on the blog, but in 2015 we want to shout about it. This recent 30-day snapshot shows how far the Facebook Check-In phenomenon has grown. Page Posts garnered 23,800 impressions. The Facebook Check-In feature used by 1,027 fans generated 258,100 impressions. What a great ROI! Especially since the dollar investment was zero. Whether you label it 'user-generated content' or 'social sharing,' it means these viral impressions now form a vital foundation for brick and mortar business marketing strategy.
From our client roster, two very different hotel properties have had great initial success with minimal effort: Hotel A is located in an urban location. It specializes in offsite business meetings for very large companies. Attendees come from the local area or around the world. Guests are very tech savvy and/or work in tech-related fields. Resort B is an upscale destination. This is the kind of place you would naturally want to brag about to your friends on Facebook. Of course you want to see what your friends say about their vacation!
Promotion Ideas to Increase Facebook Check-Ins
Consider promoting the Facebook Check-In feature to your current customers, even if your business does not naturally attract them. Reaching your customers’ online friends via a Facebook Check-In is a digital version of a word of mouth recommendation. The status post is created by the user and sent to their friends. It’s not a sponsored post, it’s free advertising on Facebook! Here are a few fun ideas to get you started:
Facebook does not send check-in notifications to your Activity Tab in real time. They tend to be batched. This makes it difficult to reward customers promptly. One local bar has customers show their Facebook Check-In on their smartphone for a chance discount on the spot. This is time intensive and requires staff participation, but suits the tone of a small local watering hole.
We've learned from the social media success of Charmin brand toilet paper that Millennials are prone to ‘Tweet from the Seat.’ Mount a plexiglass flyer holder inside stall doors. List out social media handles, hashtags, and Facebook Check-In reminders on a flyer that can be easily updated.
Get top of mind with a captured audience. Promote Facebook Check-Ins on/in/near the elevator of your building. This is a timely reminder to guests or customers, many of whom wait with smartphones in hand!
Our company is called Thin Pig Media because we don’t hog the whole marketing budget. We look for creative viral ideas to complement paid strategy. Share great ideas you’ve seen for Facebook Check-In promotion on Twitter @ThinPigMedia.