Over the last 2 years Facebook has been dabbling on and off with the ability to check-in to a store using a smartphone. The check-in feature was introduced in August 2010 with the major user interface revamp that also took place that month.
The summer of 2010 was also the beginning of the widespread public awareness of many location based services like Foursquare, GoWalla, SCVNGR, Whrrl, Brightkite, and many others. Each of these location based services provided a way to "check-in" through a smartphone and share where you were and what you were doing with friends.
In August 2010 Facebook was reporting 500 million users, and it was thought that their check-in service would crush all the others. But that didn't happen.
Fast forward to today, two years later, and many of the location based services don't exist anymore. Facebook even bought out GoWalla. One of the things that I thought would make Facebook a winner in location based check-ins was their idea early to have mobile specials offered to people who checked in.
At the time the marketing method didn't catch on because, in my view, they required a business to have a location business page that was created using a smartphone. All the jewelers I worked with had 2 different business pages and a lot of confused customers.
Facebook has cleaned up a lot of this confusion and for the last 12 months the check-in features are much easier. As long as you have an address associated with your Page you should be able to use the "Deals" feature. To find it you need to go into the Edit Page area. As I write this Nugget the location for Deals is last in the left margin list when you first start editing your Page settings.
If you do not see the yellow/green Deals icon in the left margin then you do not have the ability to create check-in deals. Try changing your business category to Local Business>Shopping/Retail and then type Jewelry Store in the "Place Sub-categories" field. You may have to wait a few days for the Deals link to appear.
Facebook gives you 4 different types of deals: Individual, Friend, Loyalty, and Charity. The Individual Deal or the Friend Deal will probably be most useful for you. The setup screen is very simple and it gives you different options depending on what type deal you want to create.
Deals can be part of a larger promotion you are running in your store. If you are running a sale at your store, you could create a Facebook Deal for the same days. In all of ads for the sale you could also put a mention of "Don't forget to check-in on Facebook while you're in our store for an even greater offer." The people checking in will further promote your store on the sale days.
Other options to promote the Deal:
* Post it to your Facebook Timeline
* Create a FB ad to promote it. The ad would link to the story you post to the Timeline.
* Mention it in your radio ads.
* Show it in TV ads
* Include it in all print and direct mail ads.
You can only have 1 Deal running at a time and someone at Facebook needs to review the deal before the public will see it. The review process will take at least 2 business days so make sure you plan ahead for this.
Using a Deal in conjunction with other standard promotions could be the extra incentive to building in-store sales. Of course you could go 100% check-in deal and only give the 20% sale discount to those who check-in on Facebook (um, or Foursquare).
One last comment, and this might be bad news, the Facebook Deals only work on the mobile version of the site at m.facebook.com or on the iPhone app.