I love a good Facebook ‘Check In’. I guess it’s a little bit of narcissism. A bit of “Hey, look at me, I’m in a strange / cool / swanky / unbelievable place.” A friend once told me they love my check ins, following me around and seeing where I pop up next. That’s nice, but he then proceeds to rip into every single place in some humorous, derogatory manner. For me, it’s also a little bit of connectivity with friends without too much thought or effort – just my style.
So I’m in this bar on my lonesome and I start fiddling with my smart phone so I don’t look sad and give the bartender the impression that somewhere in the world I do have some friends. I check in via Facebook. Nicholson’s (Scottish themed?) GastroPub US style. I was there. It’s official.
I order a burger, a pint of Tennent’s and carry on with my daily Instagram. My food arrives and as the waitress places it in front of me she chirps “Hi Ben, welcome to Nicholson’s, hope you enjoy.” Wait a minute… she knew my name? So I spend the next five minutes wondering how that could be? I never told her? I have no credit card behind the bar? But now it’s obvious… the staff were keeping an eye on their Facebook feed. Now I see the point of checking in.
It’s an insanely easy thing to do but it made my night a tiny bit better. Sad right? It’s hardly ground-breaking and yes, I’m probably way behind on this, but I now look at those check ins in a totally different way. If businesses use them creatively it can be a very useful tool and a great example of a localized personal service and useful two-way connectivity.
So the story concludes, the waitress got a bigger tip, a virtual connection was turned into a real-life connection and conversation, I stayed a little longer and I will probably go back. Job done.