More Social Check-Ins at Restaurants

If you’re a restaurant owner looking to gain some ground in the social media check-in sphere, then we have some good news for you; smart phone users are happily snapping away and updating their statuses before, during and after dinner.

Mashable brought us this infographic via Lab42, and it makes for some interesting perusing. Diners are using their smart phones to make plans, look up restaurants, find menus,  let people know where they’re eating, snap pictures, and then review their meal with a status update.

And the trends aren’t just showing casual usage, 49% of respondents cited their smart phone as somewhat or extremely important in their dining experience. With the question of changing social etiquette aside; this is more confirmation than you’ll ever need that social media and a strong online presence is a must for restaurants.

So how can you make sure your customers are checking in and utilising their smart phones in your business?

First off – your customers have to be able to find you. Make sure you’re on Google maps for a start, and then venture out into the restaurant specific search sites such as Squaremeal, TopTable, and Urban Spoon.

Also, make sure you have a website which is optimised for mobile, as this is how the customers will be looking for you.

You’ll need a presence on social media: Facebook, foursquare are the two big players in social check-ins. Since the recent changes to Facebook checkins, it will now be easier to get checkins through this platform.

Make it clear to your customers that they can check-in; integrate your social profiles into the menu, get coasters printed with your social media accounts, or offer incentives for checking in.

And finally, the infographic revealed that Groupon was the most popular app used by diners; consider signing up to offer a Groupon offer and see business soar.