Patrick Powers is an interactive media manager at Webster University.
It could be easy to get glum on the future of Facebook check-in deals — so few businesses seem to take the time to set them up and, in return, so few people use the service to claim them.
So why am I still keen on the idea of setting them up in higher education?
Facebook check-in deals are easy to establish, help a location stand out from the crowd and reward people for telling others about a business. They may never be “the next big thing,” but they’re still worth the minimal effort it takes to get them up and running.
Here’s the basic rundown on the four types of Facebook deals:
- Individual deals. Check in at the university film series and gets a free bag of popcorn.
- Friend deals. Get five friends to attend a lecture, check in, tag each other and they all get copy of the lecturer’s latest book.
- Loyalty deals. Reach a set number of check-ins at a specific university cafeteria and earn a free meal.
- Charitable donations. For every check in at the “Local Big Business” lecture hall, the “Local Big Business” donates $1 to fund university scholarships.
Establishing a Facebook check-in deal is easy. If a Facebook page includes an address, it’s already a “place” in Facebook and should be available to launch a deal. Choose the deal type, define the offer, specify run dates and promote it across Facebook. It takes about as much time as it did to read this sentence.
It is important to remember, however, that while a deal can be created in minutes, the goals and strategy behind the deal may take some time to flush out. These important details are worth spending some time on.
Check-in deals help a location stand out. It may be subtle but the little yellow icon that floats next to a location plays a role in drawing users’ attention. If users know that little yellow icon can unlock value, they’re more likely to investigate.
It’s an icon that begs the question, “What does that location have going on that others don’t?” And who wouldn’t want inquiring minds taking the time to see what else is out there?
Deals reward people for telling others. When a person checks in to claim a deal, it pops up in the news feed of all his or her friends, becoming a link to the location’s Facebook page. The average user on Facebook accumulates 130 friends.
Check-in deals, therefore, can be a great way to build brand awareness those friends of friends.