Using Check-Ins to See ROI on Facebook Ad Spend

If you own a business, you know that a well thought-out and strategic social strategy is a must. But, when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t seeing a return on your ad investment. So, how do you measure true ROI from Facebook? Is anyone actually generating ROI from Facebook? And if so, how? How does one bridge the gap from likes, comments, shares, and clicks, to customers in the door and dollars in the cash register?

Traditionally, the problem with seeing your Facebook ROI has be tracking. But, thanks to some recent updates from Facebook, there are now solutions to help marketers solve this problem. Now of course, this all depends on your end goal. Are you looking to drive website traffic or conversions? Are you looking for more brand awareness? Are you looking to drive new customers into your brick and mortar business? Today, I want to  focus on the latter. How can you see a ROI from a social campaign when your goal is to drive customers into your business?

How To Show Actual Customer Traffic from Your Facebook Ads

You have spent hours cultivating the perfect audience, crafting the most engaging content, and designing the most eye-catching graphics. Your Facebook analytics are off the charts. Your engagement is high, and your cost per thousand impressions is low. Life is good. Except for one thing. Is all of this work actually paying off?  Of course, you can look at your increase in customers and revenue, but how can you know for sure that your ads are driving new customers into your brick and mortar?

In early 2016, Facebook began reporting a new metric that meant big things for brick and mortar businesses. CHECK-INS.  Now, businesses can run an ad campaign, and Facebook will tell you the number of check-ins that resulted from consumers seeing an ad from your campaign. *ALL MARKETERS CRY TEARS OF JOY*

Now, there are a few stipulations and things to keep in mind when tracking check-ins.

  1. You you can only track check-ins on two types of Facebook ad campaigns; “Page Likes” and “Local Awareness.”  At this time, Facebook does not track check-ins on any of the other campaign objectives. (But if we know anything about Facebook, we know they like to make tracking easier for marketers, so it is only a matter of time before this option becomes available.)
  2. This is the highest possible level of engagement you can ask for from a consumer.  Think about it. This consumer has to…
    1. See an ad from your business in his or her NewsFeed
    2. Physically drive, walk, take a bus, fly, teleport…whatever it may be… into your location
    3. Get out his or her mobile device
    4. Open the Facebook App
    5. … and finally… Check-in

So of course, not every consumer who sees your ad and visits your location is going to check-in, but… what if we were able to remind consumers to do just that?

Facebook’s Bluetooth Beacon

Lucky for us, Facebook has a tool designed to specifically encourage users to check-in when they visit a business.

FBbluetoothbeacon | Drive Social Media

In 2015, Facebook released the Bluetooth Beacon, which allows brick-and-mortar businesses to present customers with what they call “Place Tips” when they walk into the location. So, let’s say a consumer is near your business, and he or she has the bluetooth enabled on his or her phone. This consumer is prompted to check-in, write a review, or like the page.

So, now you have a strategic ad campaign, paired with a powerful tool that will encourage consumers to check-in to your business when they are nearby. Pretty cool, ey?

The Proof is in the Pudding

Let’s take a look at a real-life example.

Recently, we ran a campaign for a local restaurant, promoting its happy hour specials. With the right objective, the right audience, and the right creative, we were able to show that 38 people saw the campaign, came to the location, and checked in, and spent just $167.  If you were a business owner, would you be willing to spend $167 to bring in 38 new customers? Depending on what you offer and your average ticket cost.. I bet that answer is yes.

We ran a campaign pairing highly targeted audiences with value driven messages… and the results spoke for themselves. Not only were the social metrics great, but the ads resulted in ACTUAL people spending ACTUAL money. If that’s not a ROI, I don’t know what is.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 9.36.17 AM | Drive Social Media

Remember, this is the highest possible level of engagement a consumer can make. Just because there were 38 check-ins does not mean that only 38 people converted from the ad.  

Let’s take this a step further. If we know the restaurant’s average ticket price is $30, theoretically, this restaurant just turned $167 into $1,140. But for the most part… people don’t necessarily go to happy hour alone.  In fact,  we know that the average party size for this restaurant is three people. So by the law of averages, these 38 check-ins could likely be 114 actual consumers who made a purchase as a result of the ad.  Take those 114 consumers multiplied by the average ticket price, and that gives you $3,420. That is a 21 times return on the initial Facebook ad dollar investment.  A trackable, provable, no-doubt-about-it, return on investment.

The Future Looks Bright

Keep in mind, Facebook is always making things easier to track for marketers, and this is just a small step in an overall much larger picture. Over the last few months, Facebook revealed that it is working with POS systems like Square and Marketo to track actual purchases made, which will surely be a game-changer.  

Interested in learning more, or want to talk with someone about your social strategy?

Let’s chat!