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How to Use Check-Ins to Grow Your Local Business

Social media is one of the most powerful tools you can use for business growth, with local businesses relying on it more than ever. While you and your staff are responsible for running your social channels and ensuring your marketing is on point, your existing customers can significantly assist in reaching new audiences and potential customers.

Of course, we are talking about check-ins. Chances are when you scroll through Facebook on the weekend, you will see your friends and family tagging different restaurants, shopping centers, and places they've visited in their posts. This is known as a check-in, and your customers can do this when visiting your own business!

How Do You Create a Check-In?

As the business owner, you won't be the one creating the check-in, but it is still helpful to know how to do so if you're collaborating with other local businesses or need to help a customer do this. The most popular social media platform people check in with is Facebook, which is really easy to do!

To create a check-in, simply start a post like you usually would on Facebook. From here, you will see the "check-in" feature. You can click this and enter the name of the place you are visiting to create a post that all your Facebook friends will see. This is a great way to get existing and potential customers talking about your business. It works similarly to online reviews, with most of those who check in via social media sharing photos or nice comments regarding their visiting experience.

How to Get More Check-Ins at Your Business

There are clear benefits from check-ins, but getting your customers to take part in doing them can be tricky, especially if you are a small business that may have had few previous online check-ins. However, check-ins can help grow your local business's social media following, with many potential customers clicking on your social channels when seeing their friends check in to your business.

Creating incentives is the best way to encourage your customers to check-in. Here are four ways you can increase check-ins at your business:

Offer discounts and promotions.

Whether your customer is new or has visited you multiple times, hearing about a discount is a sure way to get alarm bells ringing in their ears. A great way to encourage your customers to create a check-in and leave a positive review on your social media accounts is by offering a discount or gift when they do so.

Not only is offering a promotion a positive way to grow your business and increase sales, but it can also help you form bonds with customers, as you will supply them with a discount while they help you run a successful business thanks to their check-in!

You can get inventive with check-ins, too, almost making them seem like a competition for your customers to get involved in. For example, if you are a restaurant, you could run a campaign in which the customer who shares the best photo of their meal when they complete an online check-in receives a free course the next time they visit! You can make check-ins fun, giving you a higher chance of attracting new customers and having a solid marketing strategy.

Use your employees and friends.

A cheat code in the world of online reviews and check-ins that all small business owners should be aware of is employee check-ins. There is no harm in asking your employees or previous staff members to check in on your business and say something positive about it. After all, this will create a chain reaction and prompt others to do the same!

Additionally, bouncing off your friends and family should be a given. While asking everyone you know to leave a positive review or check-in may seem tedious, you can make it fun by offering a prize at the end, ensuring that both your friends and employees feel appreciated for all of their help.

Repost user-generated content

There is no denying that small businesses attract talented customers. Almost everyone carries a smartphone when they visit a new place, and many take excellent photos. So, why not use this to your advantage?

If you see that your customer has tagged you in an excellent photo, there is no harm in reposting it on your business's social media channels. As a company, this makes you come across as trustworthy and as though you are open to feedback. Additionally, it allows you to promote your products while giving your customer base appreciation for your work.

Of course, you can also run a competition for the best photo taken by a customer, once again offering a discount and making your customers feel valued and appreciated, ensuring your business comes across well on social media.

Email Marketing

While social media platforms, social ads, and Google ads can introduce your company to new customers, engaging with current customers is equally important. Email marketing can help promote check-ins, as you can let your customers know about the perks of checking in to your business via social media.

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Frequently asked questions

    • How can I grow my business locally?

      The best way to grow your business locally is by utilizing social media and attending local business events to network with other local businesses. In addition, you can use business tools such as Google Analytics to determine how your website is performing, giving you better insight into your target market and traffic.

    • How do I get people to check into my business?

      Offering promotions for customer check-ins is a great way to incentivize customers to check in to your business on social media. It would help if you advertised these promotions on your website and social media channels to ensure all potential customers could see what they would gain from checking in.

    • How do check-ins work on Facebook?

      Facebook check-ins are a type of status that allows users to tag their location, sharing with their Facebook friends where they are and any information they would like to share on their visit. Facebook uses existing data on the internet to identify business locations that coincide with user location settings.

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