We’ve spoken before about the relevance of social media marketing for the modern business. The social world is growing all the time; in fact, the number of social media users across the globe has risen by 176 million in the last year alone.
As the leading global platform, Facebook is a key asset for any healthcare organization. The social giant adds around half a million new users every day – how crazy is that? If your business doesn’t have a Facebook page yet, it absolutely should.
As more and more companies jump aboard the social wagon, Facebook continues to add new business features to its network. One of our favorites (and one that has benefited our clients) is the check-in option, an easy way for online users to share their geographic location with friends across their network. Using your phone’s built-in GPS, the check-in process looks something like this:
On Facebook, check-ins are displayed below your page likes, as “x” people have been here. Take this example, from our client Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. As of December, 399 patients have checked into their facility.
While a simple task, the check-in feature can greatly increase a brand’s presence on social media by placing that company in front of a wider audience of consumers. Here are a few reasons your business should encourage customers to check in when on site:
1. Check-ins Are a Form of Free Advertising
If your business is on Facebook, you are probably aware of the distinction between organic and paid reach. Organic posts, for example, are unpaid and only reach the number of users that happen to see your post while scrolling through their feed. Some companies then choose to “boost” their posts, which throws that piece of content in front of more people (based on geography, demographics, and other targeted criteria).
The benefit of the Facebook check-in is that your customers will be marketing your healthcare organization for you. Think about it: each check-in is essentially a free advertisement that your customer has willing provided for you. How kind of them.
2. They Have the Potential to Increase Your Page “Likes”
If increasing the number of page likes is one of your organization’s goals, Facebook check-ins can help you there. As an example, each time someone makes a check-in post, that person is tagging your business in the post. Other users in his or her network will then see the tag, (hopefully) click on the link, and will be redirected to your company’s Facebook homepage. From there, they can learn more about the services you provide, see where your hub is located, and of course, “like” your page.
3. They Can Help You Generate Leads
We’ve touched on this point already. With more prospective leads visiting your Facebook page, a greater number of these prospects will then visit your organization’s website, thereby increasing traffic and lead generation. True, there is no guarantee that check-ins will do wonders for your business and immediately direct hundreds of people to your website. They will, however, elevate your brand and greatly increase your social media reach, and isn’t that what you want? In our experience, greater brand awareness leads to greater business, and social media is a terrific way to steer your business in that direction.
So how can you encourage customers to utilize the check-in feature? Thankfully all it takes is a few friendly reminders. Ask your followers directly on Facebook to check in through posts, or create a point-of-purchase flyer that customers will see in your building. You can even request a free Facebook beacon – a Bluetooth device that will send signals to customers’ phones, prompting them to check in and “like” your page once they enter your door. To reward those who have checked in, offer special discounts or promotions to cultivate customer loyalty. Just try it, and see what it does for your business.