Posted 2 years ago Comments
When people arrive to specific locations, such as your museum, many often pull out their smartphones and use a social check-in application to let their friends know where they are. Before you dismiss this as purely a silly teenage activity, I must insist that it has become quite a sensation for people of all ages. Many of the applications offer people additionally functionality with their checkin, such as sharing photos of their experience, or seeing deals that are nearby.
Some businesses even pay the check-in services to offer a deal or coupon to people when they check in. For example, a restaurant chain named Chili’s gives away free chips and salsa to people who check in on the Foursquare service with their phones when they arrive and show the waiter the check-in screen. The value for Chili’s is that people are essentially announcing their presence at one of their locations to all of their friends… it’s indirect advertising, and it costs nothing to participate.
If you are a popular museum in a relatively popular area, it is very likely that someone has already submitted your museum to these check-in services. If so, you should login and claim the listings and be sure the information in your listing is up to date. Otherwise, you should create accounts on each of the check-in services and submit your museum. It will provide additional exposure and bring new people in.
As with the other services mentioned, you should login at a regular interval (every 3 months?) and ensure that your information is correct. Put it on your reoccurring tasks list. The last thing you want is a potential new visitor going to the wrong location and becoming annoyed and avoiding your museum altogether. Doing this is simply an extended form of good customer service and shows that you care about your online customers.
Social check-in services that you should have a presence on:
3) Facebook Places
4) Google Places
How to claim and update your listings:
Foursquare: Visit the Claiming your business on Foursquare page.
Gowalla: You can not currently submit or claim your museum. They are working to fix this.
Facebook Places: Go to the Facebook help page on Claiming Places and follow the directions provided.
Google Places: Visit the Add Google Place page.
Remember, these services are not the same as social networks. They are often a subset or related to social networks, and they offer the ability to connect with other people. Just know that they are different than social networks, which were described in a previous article called Create Social Network Accounts. You need to be sure that you’re set up on these check-in services as well as the social networks. Making an account on Facebook does not automatically make a listing in Facebook Places. You are responsible for taking charge of your museum’s accounts and listings.
People like to show off where they are. If you’re not on these social check-in services, you will miss out on the free advertising you would get when people tell their friends "I’m at the ____ museum." And that is a missed opportunity.