Recently it seems that you can’t scroll through your Facebook news feed without being greeted by an abundance of check-ins to restaurants and bars. Perhaps you’re one of the regular offenders yourself, or maybe you only save a check-in for a really special occasion. What is it with our obsession with checking in to venues on Facebook?
So here’s the thing:
Whatever your reasoning is, we’ve identified some of the main aspects why people feel the need to share exactly where they are.
1. Social aspects: People are naturally social. We’re constantly wanting to be viewed as “fun” and having a good time. No one wants to be seen as the person that stays in every night of the week. Checking in to somewhere social like a restaurant or bar will inform people that you are out having a good time.
2. Status and/or wealth: Let’s be honest, you’re far more likely to check-in to a high-end restaurant or a swanky cocktail bar than a McDonalds. By checking-in to luxurious places, you could be subtly bragging about your wealth.
3. Open invitation: As we’ve mentioned, human beings are social beings. Check-ins might be an invitation for people to join us. Maybe you’re sending a not-so-subtle hint to that special someone or just want more people to have fun with.
4. Compulsion to share: When you receive an excess of comments, shares and likes it makes people feel valued. This releases a hormone called oxytocin that can become a drug that people crave. In order to get your “happy fix” of oxytocin, people might feel the need to constantly share online.
5. Documenting your life: some people use Facebook as a record of their lives. Checking in everywhere and taking pictures of the food is for their own viewing.
Now you’re familiar with the reasons why people check-in whilst in social environments, here’s how restaurants can capitalise on this compulsion to share.
If people are naturally social beings, it’s time to become a social restaurant or bar! What we mean by this is that you can start encouraging people to check-in whilst they’re there. A good way to establish yourself as a social hub is to clearly display signs of social media usernames and hashtags you might want your customers to use. By clearly integrating social media into your restaurant, you will become known for being a social place that encourages people to share.
One of the main reasons restaurants and bars fail at this is that their Facebook page is not set up for people to share. Ensure that your company has a Facebook page and that your restaurant is a set to “place” in the category section. This means that when your customers check-in, it will direct their friends to your page when clicked.
It’s really important your staff do this:
Another good tip is to ask a member of staff to take photographs regularly of the food, drinks, happy customers, etc. Social media users respond the best to posts that include photographs, and as a restaurant is so important to provide people with a visual aid of the food and the experience.
It is important for restaurants and bars to have a strong social media presence as it allows you to gain feedback and insight from your customers, engage in direct conversations with them and increase awareness of your brand. People may subconsciously recognise your restaurant due to one of their friend’s Facebook check-ins, and with that in mind, you should ensure that you have an effective social media identity.
Bonus pro tip:
Having customers check in on Facebook might also help you identify them on Twitter. Twitter is a far more open and conversational platform so you can find and engage with them. Some friendly banter might encourage another visit or a TripAdvisor review!
Want to know more about how to make your restaurant stand out on social media? Send us a message.