Why do we find the need to ‘Check in’?

So the other day my friend was discussing with me what he had recently been learning about in sociology. He was telling me about how there is a pattern with people who go out on the weekend and post about it and ‘check in’ on facebook.

And it got me thinking about all the social media outlets one might utilise when they do in fact do a certain activity and how it can influence marketing of a certain business.

So for instance a night out on the town usually follows a pattern somewhat similar to this one..

  1. pre-drinks


2. selfies –> post to instagram


3. discuss random conversational topics with friends –> post a tweet. start mass hashtag trend and debate.

“Hannah Montana versus Miley Cyrus #whoisbetter”

4. head out to party/club –> check in

“gettin white gurrl w8sted!”

5. hack friends facebook –> ‘like’ embarrassing pages

6. then later proceed to check in to maccas and then upload photos of your night out.

Another typical pattern belongs to those fitness addicts. They check in at the gym, share photos of their healthy, clean eating meal or review that latest protein powder from bulk nutrients on twitter.

Anyway what i’m getting at is this pattern. And for some reason people have this desire to let other people know what they are doing, what they’re wearing, who they’re with and so on and so on.


As a marketer there must be so many opportunities to exploit from this trend.
And i’m pretty sure I’ve seen or heard of companies displaying signs in store with promotions along the lines of “check in to receive 20% off your frozen yogurt” or even “like us on facebook”.

But how else as marketers can we make people actually want to check in at ‘Mynt’ or want to show that they’re drinking Absolut Vanilla vodka, or wearing those new nike free runs, or swear that Bulk Nutrients whey protien isolate cookies and cream gets you huge?

And i think ultimately it comes down to developing your brand’s image long before you think about the social media side of things. If you’re business is passionate about something and you’re good at what you do, then your consumers are obviously going to want a bar of it and want to be recognised as being associated with that image that your brand portrays. Naturally the check ins and likes will follow.

So in my opinion brands should worry less about how many ‘likes’ and ‘check ins’ they have and start focusing on what they stand for and develop a following of consumers who value the fact that what the business does, it does well.

Any brands that you know excel at something or have an image which you want to be associated with?

or have you seen any recent incentives advertised by brands to get you to ‘check in’ or ‘like’ their page?

Lettuce know 😉


9 thoughts on “Why do we find the need to ‘Check in’?

  1. I think it all comes down to the person themselves. Generally speaking, if you’re someone who is reserved or dislike letting people know where you are, you probably wouldn’t want to check-in. If you have a big ego and like telling the whole world why your life is better than theirs, then you would check-in.

    I used to not like checking in (via Foursquare) because I thought it was creepy that people would know what I was doing. But as you said, if there was a small incentive to check in like getting a free taco, then I would probably do it. It didn’t really matter what brand or company it was because a free taco is a free taco! It depends on the person and whether they value “freebies” or “ego boosting” activities (e.g. checking in at the gym to show your mates you work out).

  2. A lot of brands use the like feature to gain added freebies. I used it last night at the pancake parlour to get an upgraded drink for free, i just showed the waitress that i liked the page and as soon as she left i unliked it because i didnt want to get spammed by all of their promotions. But i was happy because i got something free

  3. This post made me LOL, so true about the patterns that check-ins go through! My favourite one is when 19 year olds check in at drug den nightclubs at 9am, so cool. And I’m sure everyone has a few people on their newsfeed who do the check in at Hungry Jacks, I assume this gets you some sort of free food?

    • im glad it made you LOL 🙂 i hope that all my posts elicit that kind of response with people.
      And there is always something cringe worthy about check ins that are just so cheesy like that. But i have seen the hungry jacks on around and some other one that always says “this round’s on the app”.. no idea what its for though

  4. Really enjoyed reading this!! Very entertaining and yet so true! The pattern of a saturday night (I do fall into this patter regularly) is so predictable and annoying but so many users are doing it! I agree with you that brands should develop who they are and what they stand for and then the likes should follow..

    However I think its a great opportunity for brands to encourage engagement, I mean I wouldn’t have gone to hungry jacks the other day if I wasnt getting a free frozen coke (from checking in). In the end it builds your customer base, even if they delete the check in or whatever, the brand is still getting more traffic/attention than it was before social media incentives!

    Nice post!

    • im really glad to hear that you enjoyed it 🙂 made my day, thank you 😀

      Great point on the fact of building a customer base. I suppose even if you do unlike something later the fact that you’ve liked it even for a little bit means that the brand has still got some exposure and attention.

  5. Haha so true for the majority of my FB friends. I’m not majorly into checking in, but if it could get me a discount from a company, I would have no issues liking a page or sharing my location with all my friends. That being said, I would probably unlike the page as soon as I could if I didn’t think much of the brand, or continue to like it but ignore further communications. It’s definitely true that brands should worry about presenting a strong, favourable image before worrying about getting likes or friends on social media because a consumer can simply ignore the brand after they’ve left in a matter of a couple of clicks.

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