Do you get a lot of check-ins from social media services like foursquare, facebook, or Google places (Or others)? Do you track it or offer any rewards for check-ins?

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts about these services and what they can do for us? 

Tags: Check-in, Facebook, Social Media

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Great topic Joe! Do you get a lot? Are you using them in anyway? It seems like there's a lot of potential here. Can't wait to see how others are using it. 

I don't have this quite pushed (yet). I'll be completely honest though, I search on check-ins on Twitter for my (and nearby facilities) in the evenings. I'm looking at providing some sort of reward for check-ins (be it a bottle of water (which costs about $0.50) and trying to keep track of who checks in the most over the month. Every time somebody posts or checks-in or they are pushing an ad for your facility out to that person who checked in's network. I know some restaurants/bars are starting to offer a free drink for a check in. 

What do we pay for traditional media ads? Which is more likely to bring someone into your pool an add on the radio or someone seeing that their friend checked into the pool (or especially that the friend they trust checks-in 2 times a week?). It will be extremely difficult to explain the ROI of social media engagement especially in the short term but I'm all in that it will pay over the long term. It pays just like taking a minute to talk to people as they come into your pool, you can't measure it today or next week, but I know in my gut that it will pay more than a full page newspaper ad. (Sorry Gary if this seems to bash traditional media, your guys publication is very focused and to a specific audience so your ads are going to be more received. I don't know of an aquatic professional who get's Aquatics International and at least pay attention to what is there)

There is an awesome book that came out called "The Thank You Economy" by Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee on Twitter and he has a lot of videos online explaining this stuff). He really got me fired up about this and working on how to make this work for pools. 

Great idea Joe. I have thought about providing incentives for reviews on such sites as yelp, but check-ins are much easier to confirm. People love free stuff. Anyone using groupons?

I think someone from North Clackamas Aquatic Park (http://ncprd.com/aquatic-park) was talking about using Groupon as was someone from Willamalane Parks and Rec District (willamalane.org) both did from Oregon. If I remember what they said you get half of what the item sells for. It would seem to be better for the facilities that have more of a regional draw. 

 

We are using a Foursquare check in incentive. If you check into our facility four times you get a free admission. We started this at the first of the year and have had about 15 to 20 people take advantage. We are also looking into using Groupon for our seasonal swimming passes this month. We will see how that goes. I really think there is a lot of potential using these social meadia sites to draw in customers.

I agree Alexa, there is a lot of potential. I like your 4 checkins for a free admission. I think Groupon is a great way to create buzz, and find potentially new customers.

Thanks

We did a living social deal which similar to groupon and offered half off of a three month family pool membership.  We had roughly 35 families take up the offer, nearly 25 of them actually came in and claimed their passes (we still get the payment even if they don't actually claim it).  At this point, 15 of those families have renewed their passes at full price and a couple who went to getting a full year pass.  It is a great way to give a deal and bring in a few new year round paying customers!

That is good to hear you had some success with that. How much did you get from living social for each pass? Is it half the sale price?

 

Yes we recieved half.  We firgured that most of our patrons already had a membership, and that since it was noe of our cheaper cards and fora short period of time that we really wouldn't be losing anything.  It was fun to find out non the less!

We recently used Google offers to promote our family season pass sale and saw a huge increase in the number of passes sold this year compared to the number of passes sold around the same time last year. Best of all with google offers it's free and tied to the google places account that has pictures of our facility, videos and information set by the user (me). Foursquare also offers free incentives just like Alexa mentioned. As a municipal government - free is huge for us because we don't have the budget and would need council approval for a groupon because it does take a percentage of the passes sold.  

 

As for your ROI, just pick a conversion rate. As long as you set your goals and parameters as to what you think a checkin is "worth" (could be attendance numbers, passes sold, renewals, etc.) then that is what you present to your management team. A "mayor" of your facility (foursquare) may be entitled to free admision for the day or a discount at the snack bar - this way you are thanking your repeat customer and giving an incentive to keep checking in. Put a bar code or qrc at the window (if you have the ability to scan) and ask your cashier to track it and again you have data to track and convert as needed.

 

We recently received a free coupon from google adwords for $100 towards an adwords campaign. I was able to track clicks per day to our website from the campaign. Unfortunately, we don't currently sell our passe online so I was unable to get a true ROI on that campaign but am ready when we update our software system this year.

Very Nice, I am really looking at the Google products and Ads in particular. I think rewarding existing customers is huge. We need to keep them happy and coming back. 

Thanks for the input. 

Absolutely! We have our own FB page and every new session I offer a new deal. The first time was for multiple check ins, they got a discount on swim lessons, then 2 check ins got them a free open swim card, then another 2 check ins got them a free admission to a water aerobics class. They get freebies and we get free advertising because it shows up on their FB wall. Win-win situation for us!

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