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

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2. selfies –> post to instagram

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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.

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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 😉

To Be, or not to be Flawsome

so this week as i prepare for my electronic marketing assignment on Training Day Health Club, i’ve done some research into what kind of information it is that consumers are really interested in when they go online to check out a company or brand.

And its quite safe to say that the brands that perform best are those that actually produce some quality and genuine content.
Consumers don’t want to read about marketers wishy washy claims that ‘Our product is the best at…’ or ‘100% guaranteed to…’, which usually end up being false and lead to heartbreak and misery.

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And when claims don’t live up to their promise, consumers are upset from the poor brand experience which ultimately may lead to distrust and an overall negative brand perception.

This is why consumers trust other consumers more than they do the marketers behind the brand. Blogs and product reviews from consumers provide a two sided opinion weighing up the benefits and disadvantages of products and services. After all, in most cases its not like these people are being paid to say good things about the brand.

So as i often read The Age, i came across an interesting article in which it highlighted brand’s that marketed their business’s weaknesses rather than its strengths. Brands have begun to be ‘Flawsome‘, deliberatley trying to appeal to consumers through authenticity and transparency by stating the brand’s weaknesses. Flawsome is a conjunction of flawed and awesome.

The idea behind being flawsome essentially puts the marketer in the shoes of the consumer reviewer. It creates the notion of a two-sided story and legitimises the brand providing the honesty that consumers desire and respect.

And brands which have chosen to go the ‘flawsome’ road and acknowledge their weaknesses, have actually been relatively successful.

for example….

Marmite’s love it or hate it campaign. Some people really do love it…

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iinet launched a ‘get real’ campaign in which they openly acknowledged that they weren’t the best DSL broadband provider in Australia but they were indeed the second best.

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The Red cross in America also almost stumbled into an unplanned flaw when this tweet was sent out from their account.
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But rather than immediately delete the post and pretend it never happend- Which undoubtedly would have caused some kind of uproar and commotion, the Red cross quickly and wittingly responded with this.

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and even Moro in New Zealand cleverly launched this ad promoting itself as being the fourth favourite chocolate bar amongst New Zealanders.

so why flaunt your flaws?

well in our digital society it is easy for anybody to gain insight of a brand and quickly identify fact from fiction. There’s no point in hiding because thanks to the power of the Internet, its all very transparent and we’re eventually going to find out

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But ultimately we appreciate honesty and by showing us your flaws from the get go, you’ll only build your brands credibility and trustworthiness.