Article Archive by Bea Halstead

May 8 2012

Mobile Check-In Marketing Tips for Local Businesses

by Bea Halstead

Mobile Check-Ins have proven a very popular tool for social interaction.  By utilizing an API that combines a smart phone’s GPS cordinance with the social media channel CTA Check-In,  many users document where they shop, eat, entertain, and even work.  This ability to Check-In to a physical location can be easily rewarded, therefore adding a marketing element to a local address.  Business have already begun to reward members of Foursquare with discounts, free items, and exclusive specials by becoming Merchants and setting up marketing campaigns.   Foursquare is the primary source for Check-In marketing activity for local establishments, but does not have the largest audience in comparision to other social platforms. Let’s explore the larger social networks that include the Check-In API, to reveal marketing opportunities for local businesses using this location based functionality.

Facebook – Topping the charts for the largest social network with the most engaged users, Facebook Places is a fully integrated mobile and desktop feature the offers the ability to provide a location within any post.  These locations are also recorded on a user’s Timeline via a map that shows everywhere they have Checked-In.  If your business location has a Facebook Page, the Timeline keeps stats on the number of Check-ins for your business address just under the page name.  Increase activity with your Facebook Page by asking fans via posts to Check-In regularly. Offer a special discount to visitors who Check-In while checking out at the register.  You might even advertise the deal inside the business location or near the counter, to encourage new followers to your Page.

Twitter – This is the second largest network, and one of the most active audiences on mobile devices,  Twitter users have access to a feature that tweets their location when they post an update from their account.  Although the location services on Twitter will not associate your business name with the address, you can encourage fans to @mention your Twitter business profile – along with the Check-In location – for a prize.  This is great for businesses with multiple locations under the same brand name.  Each store can include a fun hash tag that is unique to their physical location to differentiate the tweets and make it a contest amoungst the locations. For example:  The promotional could be advertised for a month and include Tweet locations with @mentions/hash tags from all of the business locations, but the store with the most activity will get to host a discount day exclusive to their local patrons who participated in the contest and earned them the winning location.

Google Plus – Last, but far from least this social network is smaller that the other two, but the Check-In API is integrated into multiple Google products -like Places and Lattitude- that make it a powerful tool and could effect your organic search results.  Even if your business does not have a Google Plus Page, your physical address can be entered or recommended for Check-Ins and a post will be shared on the users profile with a map from Google Places.   Try taking a different marketing approach if you have a larger location with over 50 employees. Market this feature amoung your employees to gain access to a wider network of people and online activity by requesting that they each Check-In daily with their personal Google Plus accounts for one week to enter to win a reward.  Monitor the response to this increased activity, check to see if your website and business location had an increase of natural traffic due to the additional exposure.

April 30 2012

Social Analytics Formulas to Use for ROI Reports

by Bea Halstead

Reporting on Social Media Marketing involves defining a unique set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that help to measure the level of activity and effectiveness of your brand within the social realm.  Social analytics can measure the impact of social media on your business.  This means collecting intelligence from aggregating and analyzing online conversations and social activity generated by your brand.  By using this data, your company will be able to improve and report on brand awareness and reputation, marketing and sales effectiveness, and customer satisfaction and advocacy. The benchmarks to focus on will be those that combine specific engagement metrics that result in lead generation. This reporting will help define the effectiveness of social media as it relates to marketing, sales, and customer service performance.   We have created the reference charts below with basic formulas for analyzing the metrics for the KPIs listed based on an Infographic created by  Awareness Inc.

These insights will help your company adapt to the social environment it participates in and to improve on the relationship people have with your marketing, sales, and customer service initiatives.   Social analytics can be a combination of real-time analysis for campaigns, or historical trend analysis of engagement and growth metrics.  By evaluating your company’s social analytics, you can report on the return on investment from participating in social media marketing successfully.

What are other KPIs that your company uses as a measurement for social media success?   Share your ideas or questions via the comments box below. We look forward to hearing from you.

April 20 2012

Social Media Contest Ideas for Businesses

by Bea Halstead

Influencing a community on a social network can be especially effective when promoting with a contest.  Engaged users will participate, promote, and provide content simply by entering to win whatever prize you are offering.  Strategy behind running a successful contest in social media includes selecting a prize the will resonate with your audience and excite them to commit to the actions that promote your brand.   Before choosing what type of contest to have, and which channel may garner the best results, do some basic research into what current contests appeal to your demographic that are affective.  Review the contests highlighted below and the outlined framework that makes them successful promotions.

Facebook Contest #1: White Cloud – Beyond the Green Sweepstakes

  • Best Practice: Promoted Visually on Timeline, Tab, and App includes sharing
  • Prize is a Car, and a product coupon
  • CTA: “Like” Page to be able to Enter, Enter Zip for Coupon, Enter Sweepstakes App that includes address fields.

Facebook Contest #2: Del Monte – Crown the Cook Contest

  • Best Practice: Promoted Visually on Timeline, Tab, and App includes sharing.
  • Prizes:  Trip to San Francisco,  Professional Cookware, Chance to Win Cook-Off
  • CTA:  Like the Page, Enter a Recipe, View Fan Recipes, Share contest or recipe to get a $1.00 off Coupon.

Pinterest Contest #1: AsukaBook USA Pin-spiration Contest

  • Best Practice: Drives traffic from Facebook, to Pinterest, to Email submission form.
  • Prize:  3 Photo Albums
  • CTA:  Like Facebook Page, Follow Pinterest profile, Pin 5 images from website, Pin 1 product image, submit entry via email.

Pinterest Contest #2 Dreaming of a PINK Summer Pinterest Challenge

  • Best Practice: Landing Page on website for Contest, includes Facebook sharing, contest details and email submission form.
  • Prizes: $500 Shopping Spree and Tote, featured pin board, and 8 $50 Pink Gift Cards for finalists.
  • CTA’s:  Create a Pinterest board with brand name/contest name in it, Pin 3 products, Pin summer images associated with PINK, submit email and board link, pin it examples.

Each social media contest above is tailored to a target audience and is hosted where that audience is most likely to participate, promote, and engage with the brand.  By providing the right prize incentive, they have leveraged the most from the value a contest can provide when influencing a community.   If your company needs to grow a social media presence, we are here to help with strategy and implementation best practices.  Shoot us your ideas in the comments below, or email us for answers to your questions.

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