In one of my previous posts “Put The Local in Your Locale” I mentioned a relatively new social network called Foursquare.com. I thought it had some real potential but unfortunately they were not in the Kansas City area. After writing to them about my wish that they be here, my request was granted. I just received word that along with several other cities, Kansas City is now on the map!
This kind of geo-targeted social network has real potential for those of you marketing to a consumer who is likely to purchase at your location.
Here are some of the features of Foursquare.com and then I would like to explore some potential applications to help you determine if it’s right for you.
Members of Foursquare.com check-in by logging onto the site from there mobile phone and letting their friends know where they are so they can come to that location. Foursquare.com will also offer other locations nearby that may be places of interest to members. Currently there are applications for IPhones and Android phones with a Blackberry application in the works. There are also nice links to Twitter and Facebook.
Members have the ability to make recommendations of things to buy or enjoy at certain locations and Foursquare.com tracks how many times members frequent a particular location, based on the number of times they check-in. Points are awarded for check-ins as well as bonus points for dragging friends along with you. As points accumulate, badges can be unlocked, with the ultimate badge award being classified as a “mayor.” Businesses can offer “mayors” certain privileges or freebies to entice them to come in as well as encouraging them to bring their network of friends.
Additional applications are being developed by Foursquare.com which includes an Inbound Ticketing system and a customer conversation community called “Get Satisfaction.” For businesses that wish to actively participate there are plans available from $19 to $899 per month depending on reports, tracking, mayor offers and customization that is desired.
Applications for Foursquare.com
- The obvious are restaurants and bars – mayors can be offered free drinks or appetizers once they check-in. Friends of mayors get special recognition. Weekly specials can be promoted through their customized site.
- Museums – special shows and artists can be promoted and people can join as “friends of the museum.”
- Sporting Events – not only can the events be promoted but businesses close by can benefit from online promotions to Foursquare.com members.
- Non-profit Fundraising events – what a great way to encourage participation to those members who have a social awareness. Mayors can receive special recognition by attracting the highest number of friends who also attend. Companies that belong to Foursquare.com receive some public relations exposure by being associated with a cause.
- Gyms – hey it’s cool to be working out and even cooler when you can tell your network exactly where you are.
- Bowling Alleys – Mayors that bring in a whole team can receive free food, drinks or a game.
- Retail Outlets – clothing boutiques can take on an online personality and promote sales and specials. Foursquare.com members can talk about what they like about your place.
These are just a few potential applications. I’m sure many of you can come up with several of your own. That’s the beauty of this kind of network, it is really only limited by your imagination.
If you need to drive in-store sales, don’t be square and lose out on a great new marketing tool because Foursquare.com is very cool.
Let me know what thoughts you have.