The classic saying goes “It is better to give than to receive.” Agreed. This also proves true in the social media world. Today, establishments are more inviting than customers sometimes realize when it comes to offering deals, all thanks to two powerful words: Check In. “Checking in” on a Smartphone is becoming more and more popular to redeem discounts and promotions, all while instantly advocating the selected business. It’s easily a win-win situation. “Before Facebook, word-of-mouth marketing reached a couple of people per client, if you were lucky,” says Carolann Schmidt, who offers $5 discounts to friends of clients when they check into her Redmond, Washington-based salon. ”Some clients have 400 friends on Facebook, it’s a small price to pay,” she says.”
Let’s create a scenario that many of us experience when meeting up with friends or colleagues.
Primarily, a substantial amount of Smartphone contact plays a key role in the preparation prior to the meeting of the minds. One person may be mapping directions for the quickest route to arrive at the said location. Next, the foodie of the crew is frantically scrolling through the menu on his or her phone, to ensure that the award-winning Bananas Foster dessert, is in fact, on the menu this evening. Perhaps another individual is corresponding their ETA, because post-work traffic isn’t always on our side.
Then, there is our hero. This is the person who upon arrival, immediately logs into Facebook prior to seating. This is not necessarily to chat, check messages, or upload a photo, but to “Check In.” The gut-instinct to shout it from the rooftops, that he or she is dining amongst the elite, tagging all the included company, and about to indulge, is quickly interrupted by an unexpected pop-up coupon. The tables are immediately turned and this delightful bonus brightens the occasion instantly. This pop-up coupon alerts the user about a complimentary offering; perhaps an appetizer, dessert, or extra discount off the bill. Just for recognizing that you are in fact, alerting your contacts of your whereabouts, you’re rewarded?! Many times, the answer is yes. It is well worth it to see if your current location participates in the sweet rewards of checking in.
According to Crystal Kendrick, president of The Voice of Your Customer, a marketing company based in Cincinnati, check-ins “are really about creating brand awareness.” She explains, “Since Facebook users have 130 friends on average, the deals present an opportunity to generate buzz and expand your reach through those connections.” Since we are a culture programmed to be “plugged in” the majority of the time, sharing locations within our networks and newsfeeds IS the new version of Word of Mouth.
Charge your phone, check in, and grab a spoon.