“Facebook Places” is a feature that lets users “check in” and “tag” friends they are with on Facebook through their smartphone to let a user’s friends know where they are at that point in time.
Facebook Places lets your customers share their location, see which friends are in the local area, and discover new places by following where others from their social network have checked in, while allowing you to gather real-time stats about your customers.
78% of us now make purchasing decisions based on peer recommendations, and ‘checking in’ is a subtle invitation, and recommendation, to all friends in their Facebook network.
Brendan’s Irish Pub in California recently introduced a new menu item: Chicken Pot-Pie. A Facebook fan jokingly asked if the restaurant would delivery one to her home since she’d recently broken her foot, and Brendan’s Irish Pub responded with a hot meal and a letter to her door.
The woman was so happy she sent them a picture of her enjoying the treat in front of the television and they posted a photo of with her ‘Thank You’ that within two hours had 60 ‘Likes’ and comments left by 13 people resulting in thousands of impressions on customer’s and customers networks Facebook profile, exemplifying Brendan’s Irish Pub’s commitment to customer service.
Your pub should be incentivizing checking in, and a great way to do so is by taking advantage of ‘online loyalty cards’ through Facebook Places.
Customers can ‘Stamp’ by checking in and after a certain number of check-ins be rewarded with a free or discounted menu item. However, like the Chicken Pot Pie, the customer loyalty goes beyond the customer—the ‘reward’ for their loyalty is announced in the news feed to all of your customer’s friends- tapping into potentially new networks of local customers.
Take advantage of Facebook places:
1. Claim ownership of your pub: Official representatives of a business can claim it, which will turn the place into a Facebook Page. This page can include a menu, opening hours and events. Merge Facebook Places with your Facebook Page. This ensures that anyone who has “Liked” your Facebook Page will be connected to your Places Page.
2. Promote interaction: Encourage ‘word of mouth of your pub’ by Providing special discounts or promotional items for customers who show that they have checked in or tweeted a photo, during the current visit. The business can use signs in the store, or at the cash register, as well as Twitter and Facebook to encourage users to check-in to Facebook Places to receive the special offer.
3. Reward Customer Loyalty: push coupons to Facebook users at your business. When someone checks into your business, you can send them coupons, promotions or tips. Check in deals, are free to create and based on peoples Facebook check ins when they visit your business. There are four types of Check in Deals you can utilize from Facebook Places:
- Individual Deal: You can offer this type of deal to both new and existing customers. You may create Individual Deals when you want to launch a new product, get rid of excess inventory, offer seasonal incentives, or simply get more people into your store.
- Friend Deal: Friend Deals allow you to offer discounts to groups of up to 8 people, when they check in together. Friend Deals are a great way to build even more exposure for your business because more stories are generated when multiple people check-in.
- Loyalty Deal: To focus on rewarding your most loyal customers, create a Loyalty Deal. These deals may be claimed by customers only after a certain number of check-ins. Depending on your business, the number of check-ins may vary. Please note that you must create a deal that is redeemable after no fewer than two and no more than 20 check-ins.
- Charity Deal: Create a Charity Deal to make a donation to the charity of your choice. This is a great way for your business to give back to the community while adding a human touch to your business.
Source: Maire McDonnell, Irish Pubs Global