As a PR, I’m always keen to learn about new and developing trends in digital and social media marketing. One such trend is Foursquare, a location-based social networking site. Having recently downloaded the free App on my Blackberry, I’ve finally decided it’s time to get to grips with this new tool and decipher its value, both for users (let’s face it – it’s about me), and for brands.
Since its launch in 2009, Foursquare has been used by multiple users and businesses for a range of purposes. The following list is a culmination of my own observations, as well as those gauged by other net-users such as Lifehacker, and aims to offer advice on how users and businesses alike can utilise Foursquare for best results:
- Read and leave user’s Tips. Before planning your weekend or booking your business trip, Foursquare allows users to leave and read tips about destinations, from must-see tourist attractions to which cocktail is best, allowing you to make the most of your visit. For businesses, a good review is key to driving further revenue.
- Look out for Deals: Nearby vendors can offer you Deals (an incentive to visit an outlet) or rewards, for example for checking in X number of times. This thus acts like an online loyalty scheme that rewards you whilst simultaneously promoting the company to your followers every time you check-in – win/win?
- Enjoy/employ the game mechanic. The game-mechanic encourages users to get out and about to earn badges for ’achievements’, i.e., not being a recluse. It thus offers a way to connect with people in real-life and not just online. For businesses, this means the opportunity to directly manipulate real-life footfall by engaging with consumers online.
- Explore your local area. For me, Foursquare has been useful (particularly on my mobile) for revealing what’s in the local area in terms of shops, attractions and amenities. This can be handy whether you’ve just moved into an area, are visiting an unknown holiday destination, or are away for work and need to find a service pronto.
N.B. This is Part 1 of 4 posts on this subject. Please do take a look at the following chapters:
Part 2: The Cons of Foursquare
Part 3: Should Brands Use Foursquare?
Part 4: Case Studies: Brands on Foursquare