Businesses should encourage check-ins
Ask customers to use check-in apps
Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare check-in apps can help market your business and boost your local search rankings
More and more, savvy iPhone and Android users are “checking in” to places they visit. This is a good trend for local businesses and you should encourage it.
Smart phone apps like Facebook, Foursquare and Yelp allow users to check-in to locations to share places with their friends. When they do, it’s like they just sent an advertisement for your business to all of their friends.
Each check-in sends a powerful signal to the search engines. Google, Bing and Yahoo can see that this company is a trusted local business. It’s a great way to help improve your local search rankings.
A local children’s gym in Paso Robles uses this online marketing technique. A sign near California Gold Gymnastics front door says:
“Check in on Facebook and save $5 on your monthly bill”
The customer shows the front desk their smartphone with the check-in on the screen and receives the discount. Facebook then displays “Suzi Q checked into California Gold Gymnastics.” That’s a recommendation. It’s the best kind of personal advertising – word of mouth.
We suggest you do the same thing at your business and offer a discount or gift for checking in on a smart phone.
“The ability to interact with consumers on this micro-local level through special offers, deals and other incentives provides brands with the real-time opportunity to engage consumers through their mobile device,” says Mark Donovan, ComScore‘s senior vice president of mobile.
The Los Angeles Times reports that 1 in 5 smart-phone owners use check-in apps, with Facebook being the most popular.
According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the popularity of check-in apps continues to grow. Pew’s survey found that in February 2012, 18% of U.S. smartphone owners over 18 used geosocial check-in apps like Foursquare. That’s up from 12% in May 2011. Expect that number to rise to over 25% of smartphone users in 2013.
Read the complete article here – Using check-in apps for local businesses
Take control of your local search results!
Posted by Scott Brennan, Access Publishing
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