Which “Check In” is Right for your Business?

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Which “Check In” is Right for your Business?

With the ever-growing amount of social media options available for us to “check in,” which check in service is the right choice for business?  For some businesses there may be little or no options whereas for others, there may be too many options.  First, businesses must consider what type of business they are (service or product base, in-house, b2b, etc.).  Then who are the customers the business services on a regular basis.  What is the business trying to accomplish with the check in services that are available must also be answered.  Finally, use this information to help decide which of the services are better for the business today and in the future.

What Type of Business?

In considering which check in service to focus on, if at all, the first question is what type of business are you.  If your business has a large volume of people coming in to your establishment who are likely to be more socially engaged with their peers, like a restaurant, bar, or retail, then focusing your check in marketing on services like Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, or Loopt would be advisable.  These services allow your customers to check in, rate your services, and/or get kudos for the check ins they have.  These services also allow you the possibility to provide value for the customers check in.  You can give coupons and/or discounts for new check ins.  This will increase the likelihood that they will check in, which will notify their peers, which hopefully will drive more traffic to your door.

What Type of Customers?

If you have a younger clientele, than the fore mentioned services are a good choice.  But what if your clientele are in an older demographic?  Also, what if your clients have to wait in a waiting room for your service?  Examples would be a medical practice or dentist office.  Typically, these have an older demographic that is more inclined to utilize as service like Facebook.  Facebook’s largest demographic growth has been women in the 45+ bracket.  Having the capability for them to check in through Facebook or Google+, will then notify their followers and publicize your services.  Google+ does not have business specific services as of yet, but if you have set up your Google Places account, check in capability is available for you customers.  Oh, and BTW, Google+ is the fastest growing social service ever.

What is your Business Trying to Accomplish?

If it is pure exposure, then all of the above check in services will provide that and do so well.  If you are trying create a buzz, then offering incentives for the check-in (coupons, discounts, give a ways, promotions, etc.) is a great way to do it.  If it is a way to engage your customers, you not only need to have your information up to date on the check in service, but also be monitoring the check ins and following up with information that is valuable to your customers.  Examples would be future offerings, new products or services, offering tips to improve the customers experience, etc…

Set your Strategy

The “check in” capabilities across the Social Media spectrum for both business exposure and customer engagement are numerous.  The only caveat for your business is which are the most beneficial for your business, and what is the best way to engage and grow your customer base.  Checking In is not a one size fits all type of marketing strategy, nor should it be the only marketing strategy you should implement.  But it can be very valuable depending on the type of business you are, the type of customers you have, and the goal of your check in strategy.  Don’t be afraid of the different options available to you and try the different options available to your business both from the type of service and the marketing strategy that works best for your business.  Remember, even if you are not focused on social media, odds are that some of your customers are.

Which check in services is your business finding success with?

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