Internet technology and marketing

April 6, 2011

Yelp’s Check-in

Filed under: android, social media, yelp — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 11:13 pm

We installed a YELP app on our new Android phone.  We were already familiar with Yelp because we had been a user for a number of years. The Yelp app would allow us write our reviews from our smart phone.

We noticed a “check in” feature.  After walking in a restaurant we did a “check in”.  Then anyone who was “following” me knew where I ate. Truth be told, there was only one person “following” me.  Someone else explained to me that he had checked in more often than anyone to a particular restaurant and was now the “duke” of the restaurant. 

 So then the “check in” feautre was just a game.  Silly.  Why would anyone play this game?  Just to be the silly “duke” of a restaurant?  It would require returning to the restaurant and spend more money.

Then we learned that some establishments award discounts or other rewards to people who “check in” to their establishments.  Now people had a real incentive to return to those businesses – primarily restaurants at this time.  If they go often enough, they become the “duke” or “duchess”.  Or get a discount. Or a free appetizer. Or a free drink.

If you are a business owner who depends upon repeat business, could the “check in” feature of Yelp create a real incentive for your business?  Absolutely!

Here are some ways to implement this.

– for every several “check ins” to a car wash you can earn a free wash.

– for each “check in” to a restaurant, you get a free drink with your meal.

– after several “check ins” at a coffee shop or hair salon or massage parlor, you get something free or an upgrade service.  Better yet, you become a frequent shopper and are entitled to discounts. 

For every establishment that has a variation of a rewards card – YELP’s “check in” feature can do the same thing.  Because those establishments can be found on Yelp, it is more readily found.  Especially inviting would be an immediate reward for the first “check in”.  Alternatively, you could combine the “check in” with a written review.

What kind of business do you have?  What reward can you offer as an incentive to visit your establishment?  Even if you are not a “repeat business” establishment, that initial discount or free service is a powerful incentive.

If you are an enterprise reaching out to new customers and improving your repeat business, investigate the Yelp “check in” feature.

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