How to Win at digital

How Can “Check-Ins” Promote Your Brand?

Facebook offers a lot more than just chatting with friends and an easy way for them to locate you through check-ins. It is a valuable business tool. In fact, social media, on the whole, can help you to promote your business and brand, whether it is Facebook, Twitter or any other platform. Platforms such as these are one of the best ways for your brand to remain relevant. So how can social media and digital check-ins help to promote your brand?

Posting to Social Media Improves Awareness of Your Brand

There are many ways in which social media can be used as a tool for brands and businesses. Brand awareness can be built in two ways, when you post to Facebook, Twitter, etc. (ideas for integration can be found below) and when people check-in or post about your brand.

When people visiting your business use check-ins on social media such as Facebook they are giving your business not just free advertising, but it’s a personal recommendation, rather than an advertisement that is less trustworthy. Consider this — they check-in using Facebook and all their friends are able to see where they are. If they have five hundred or so friends that mean another 500 people who may not have known about your brand will now know about your business or company, so brand awareness has been built up. Which means more customers.

The other advantage of check-ins over business posts is that they are far more likely to be seen by a great number of people. Facebook’s algorithms that decide what thsould show up on a newsfeed will push posts from friends and family (check-ins) to the top and only show posts from a business page to one or two percent of page followers.

Social media has taken off in a big way and recent reports suggest that:

· There are 1.86 billion people using Facebook;
· There are about 319 million people using Twitter;
· There are 500 million users on LinkedIn; and
· There are 600 million users on Instagram.

This means that by using Facebook alone you have access to more than 1.86 billion people around the world, all of which you can let know about your brand.

Make the Most of Check-In`s

One of the most valuable tools of Facebook for promoting brand awareness is the Check-In.

Facebook allows businesses to run sponsored place check-in stories, which is something you might want to take a look at. You can target ads at any of your followers on Facebook friends, who have already checked in at your place of business. This usually has the highest CTR of any of the ads on Facebook at around 3.2%.

Tips for Integrating Social Media into Your Business

Now that you understand how digital check-ins can help to promote your brand and the importance of making the most of it, here are some tips for integrating social media into your business to boost brand awareness.

· Give an incentive to check-in — offer customers an incentive for checking in when they arrive at your business. This may be by way of free WiFi for example. The key is to make it easy and not a burden;

· Word of mouth — have your employees ask customers if they have thought about checking in upon arrival or if you are using WiFi as the hook, make sure you have signage up stating that there is free WiFi;

· Advertise — you might want to advertise in your place of business asking people to check-in;

· Keep track — growing awareness of your brand is one thing but keeping track is also just as important, so do not forget to keep checking the engagement statistics on social media platforms; and

Don’t Forget That All Important Call to Action

While social media and check-in`s can be a valuable tool for boosting brand awareness, just as important is getting the correct mixture of engagement with your customers and call to action.

Engaging posts on social media are all good and well, however, a call-to-action should also be shared to promote your services and/or products. It goes without saying that the call-to-action should stand out, otherwise people are not going to notice it, so do not bury it in the post. You can use graphics, pictures, and photographs to your advantage for call-to-action as it has been said that people process them around 60,000 quicker than words. Graphics can make a huge impact and grab the attention of people.

Michael Jankie is chief executive and co-founder of PoweredLocal, an end-to-end provider of Wi-Fi to small businesses.

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