Mashable is today reporting that Mastercard are spreading 20 seats from the now demolished Yankee Stadium across New York City, with each seat containing a unique QR Code which when scanned will check them into Facebook Places.
Then, once checked-in, they make themselves eligible to win VIP tickets to a 2011 Yankee game in MasterCard’s exclusive Batter’s Eye Café.
This a great example of a business using Facebook effectively – in particular Facebook Places, which many businesses that I’ve spoken with do not fully understand the potential of.
You see, Mastercard have done something very clever in that they don’t have a store, or stores, that people can visit in order to purchase their product, so they have placed these seats in specific locations to allow people to check-in to a ‘place’.
However, of course, many businesses have premises that customers will visit daily and its these businesses that could really benefit from Facebook Places.
Here are a few ideas as to how these businesses can benefit:
1) Claim your place! I’ve seen countless examples in recent weeks of businesses who didn’t even realise that people had been checking-in to their premises. This can create further issues as customers create multiple locations, enter the wrong information, even spell your business name incorrectly! By claiming your business not only can you see who’s checking-in, but you have control over the information related to your premises (for example opening times) and you can also encourage people to ‘like’ your page as well as ‘check-in’…
2) Because once they’ve checked-in, it’s in their interest to ‘like’ your page in order to hear of any special offers and stay up-to-date with the latest news on your business. They’ve taken the trouble to check-in which shows that they’re interested in the first place – it’s a perfect way to stay in touch with daily updates appearing in the news feeds of your customers – it keeps you in the picture.
3) Reward your customers for checking-in. For example if you own a coffee-shop, all a customer has to do is show you their smartphone in order for you to see how many times they’ve checked-in at your shop. You could offer a free coffee for every six check-ins, encourage them to return. And remember – every time they check-in, it shows up in their news feeds for their friends to see….
4) Feedback – …they may even tell their friends they got a free coffee…! Or you may notice certain trends – for example that more people are checking-in at weekends than weekdays. In this case you could promote a weekday-only check-in offer to encourage more weekday visitors.
5) Marketing – Even without analysing the trends, once you’ve merged your ‘Place’ with your ‘Page’ you can market directly to people who you already know are fans of your business. You’re preaching to the converted, a great opportunity to up-sell and offer further promotions.
Let me know how you’re using Facebook with your business – I’d love to hear how it’s going…