Foursquare Marketing – Positive Results for Small Business
I am highly recommending Foursquare to my hospitality and retail clients – Why? It allows users to interact and have fun with each other by demonstrating how much they love your business. They compete to be the Mayor of your establishment and they can only win if they are frequent customers. Here’s what Digital Media Buzz, Duct Tape Marketing and Poplabs Ref have to say about Foursquare.
Like many social media products, Foursquare started out as a way for friends to connect with friends and update their locations via text message from their mobile devices or device-specific applications for the iPhone and Android. Blackberry and Palm Pre apps are in the works. It combines friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics. When users check in, Foursquare lets their friends know where they can find them and recommends places and things to do nearby. Those into bragging rights can become the mayors of locations by being the most frequent visitor. As with Twitter, it didn’t take long for businesses to see how Foursquare could make a great promotional tool by offering freebies like free coffee, free drinks, free food and free hotel stays to Foursquare mayors.
Users compete with check-ins to earn points for their city, badges for various types of activity and to become mayor of frequented spots. Just like Twitter back in early 2007 none of this makes much sense until you play with it a while and until you have some folks to follow and connect with. (In fact, it doesn’t really make that much sense then, but there’s something sort of addictive about it.)
Users also add and update information about businesses, write tips and make suggestions for anyone to consume. This rating and reviewing function treads on the turf of services such as Yelp! and acts as another data point for people trying to locate a good pizza on the Upper East Side for example.
I’ve been actively using Foursquare for about three months, though I signed up for it many months prior. I thought it would end up being just another Brightkite with its own twist. I took a cynical approach thinking it was just another way for people to say where they are and what they’re doing, which it is. But, then I saw what local business like Coffee Groundz and Lone Star Chiropractic were doing with Foursquare.
If you’d like help devising a strategy for Foursquare, Twitter, Yelp or any of the other social check-in applications, call Julie Gallaher at 916-265-2521.