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Foursquare – 2010’s Big Kahuna in Social Networking

Posted by in Social Media Marketing

Foursquare is being the dubbed ‘the biggest thing to hit social media in 2010′ and is set to rock our world just like Twitter did in 2009 (safe enough to say it’s the biggest thing to hit social media in 2010 because we are yet to see out our first month but things still look very promising). It grew in popularity in San Francisco, spread across the US and has just been launched worldwide.

Foursquare is a location-based social networking medium. It is a mobile application which allows you to “check in” every time you visit a destination via your phones GPS capabilities. Locations can be anywhere from shops, bars, cafes and restaurants being the most popular, through to workplaces, banks and parks. Once you’ve checked into a location, Foursquare will then broadcast your whereabouts to your friends and recommend places to go and things to do nearby. The Foursquare website promotes that this is a great way to meet up with nearby friends and learn about their favourite spots and the new places they discover.

Foursquare.com describes itself as an “urban mix tape”, making lists of your favourite things to do and share them with your friends. Foursquare keeps a record of your actions, creates To-Do lists and suggests new things to check out. It shares other user’s experiences in particular locations. For example, if you checked into a restaurant it would unlock a tip suggesting an item from the menu. The game of it is that as you cruise along checking into locations and adding tips for others, you earn points and unlock badges. If you become the frequent Foursquare visitor to a location then you become ‘the Mayor’ until someone else overtakes you and steals your title. Mayors are eligible for freebies such as coffee, ice-cream etc depending on what that particular location may offer through Foursquare.

Example of Foursquare badges
Example of Foursquare badges

The business applications of this new service are immediately clear:

1.       Customer Intel – invaluable information on how often customers frequent your business, knowing what they are saving about your products and services

2.       Word of mouth Advertising – your own customers recommending your products and services to others!? Wow! Doesn’t get any better than that!

3.       Direct Marketing – want to reward your loyal customers? How about offering a discount to a new customer to inspire them to try a menu item or buy a product?

4.       Potential to Rank in Search Engines – as Foursquare builds up authority with the search engines then their recommendations and listings are likely to rank. So if your business has some rave reviews and comments then you will potentially list in local search results

Why this will work? People love to let other people know what they are doing and how cool it is. People love to earn badges and would all love to be the ‘Mayor’ of something. My recommendations? Get ready for Foursquare to become a big thing. If you’re prepared to jump on this wave then you are sure to have a kanuna of a ride and save yourself being dumped in the shallows.

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