More Than a Check-In

By Laura Ragsdale

More than 128,600 people have checked into J&B Coffee on Facebook, according to their page, and that number grows every day.

Scott Cline, owner of J&B Coffee Company, said his coffee shop uses the Facebook check-in feature to allow customers to connect to the Wi-Fi.

“The Facebook check-in feature was brought to us and it was a no brainer,” Cline said.

He said J&B is very limited on the amount of Wi-Fi they can use and this feature allowed him to control the bandwidth with each individual.

“We spend a couple hundred dollars on this a month,” Cline said. “But, it is worth it.”

But, the original purpose to control the bandwidth of his customers has now evolved into a marketing strategy, he said.

“The more people get on the Wi-Fi, the more people check-in, and the more their friends see it,” he said. “It’s marketing.”

He said 10 years ago, J&B ran marketing towards everyone. With Facebook, he said he has now tailored more things to who his true audience is.

“We haven’t changed who we are, but we are more aware of who our audience is than ever before,” he said.

Cline said Facebook has allowed him to see that 80 percent of his customers are Texas Tech University students when Texas Tech is in session. According to Facebook, 128,648 people have checked-in to J&B on Facebook.

“We try not to get too personal with it,” he said. “That is the one thing I don’t want to do.”

He said using this feature is more about connecting and having a relationship with his business.

Abby Aldrich/The Hub@TTU

“When you walk in we want you to feel more at home as opposed to pressuring you or selling to you,” Cliene said. “That is not who we are, that’s not what I try to preach.”

He said there is a code for people to use if they do not want to check in on Facebook, but only 1 out of 30 people ask for it.

Lilly Yeager, level one nursing student from Austin, Texas, said ever since she has been going to J&B, she has always checked-in on Facebook.

“I am probably there anywhere from three to five times a week,” she said. “It’s all over my Facebook.”

She said she believes it is great advertising because people will see it on their timelines. Those who don’t know about J&B will ask her about the coffee shop, Yeager said.

“But, it’s also annoying to have to do it every single time,” she said. “I would rather check-in for an incentive than to get the Wi-Fi.”

Libby Clark, personal wellness coach at HubCity Nutrition, said since they are a business by referral, they started using Facebook check-in.

“We use the Facebook check-in as an incentive,” Clark said. “If someone checks in to Facebook they get a treat or bonus.”

“It really changed our business. We are reaching so many people.”

HubCity Nutrition started using this feature about eight months ago, she said. They went from serving 60 customers a day to now serving over 200 customers a day. Over 11,000 people have checked in to HubCity Nutrition, according to their Facebook page.

“It really changed our business,” Clark said. “We are reaching so many people.”

She said a lot of people come in and say they heard about HubCity Nutrition on Facebook. She said out of curiosity people want to see what the company is about.

“Once they come in that door, they fall in love with us,” Clark said. “We treat them like family.”

She said what matters to them is that they are getting their name out there.

“So it doesn’t matter, people don’t need to see that we are advertising,” Clark said. “To me it is about making relationships with our customers.”

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