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26

August

2011

Checking In, It’s a Good Thing for Business :

If Facebook’s recently released stats indicate anything, it’s that you don’t have to be a big box store to take advantage of location-based mobile traffic. “Checking in” is a function founded and popularized by Foursquare, but Facebook was quick to jump on board, offering it to its mobile users.

Facebook launched check-in capability a year ago, and only now has the company released data on how popular the service is. Called “Places,” when a Facebook user checks-in to a business, it’s shown, on average, to 130 of their friends. With the ability to add a note or “tag” who they’re there with, “Places” can create a viral endorsement of a place that’s frequented by a friend.

Using restaurants as an example of its popularity, Facebook just announced the top 10 restaurants that get checked-in to. They are:

1. Starbucks (no big surprise)

2. Buffalo Wild Wings (big surprise)

3. Chili’s

4. Applebee’s

5. McDonald’s

6. IHOP

7. Denny’s

8. Olive Garden

9. T.G.I. Friday’s

10. The Cheesecake Factory

This list in interesting in many regards. It’s not that it tells us that mobile Facebook users like cheesecake, coffee and breakfast. It’s that any business can be popular through social media. Starbucks has 17,000 locations, so it’s easy for them to get big numbers here (plus they have an incredible social media marketing campaign). But Buffalo Wild Wings has 700 outlets and was much higher than McDonald’s and its 32,000 global locations. Maybe people don’t want to admit they are eating at McDonald’s, or maybe Buffalo Wild Wings incentivizes users to check-in. From the occasional “free wings” to money off your tab, Buffalo Wild Wings is always looking for ways to reward their 5 million+ Facebook followers. Are you doing the same for your business?