Posts Tagged ‘Foursquare’

Facebook Places, Failure to Launch?

// August 19th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Social Media Marketing, Technology

Facebook Places LogoUsing the Tagline Who, What, When, and Now…Where Facebook has officially announced the introduction of Facebook places. Will this be a killer for geolocation services Gowalla and Foursquare? It’s a bit early to tell however they may have taken a wrong step by not including certain features.

Facebook Places

Places is currently only available in the US first of all, whereas both Foursquare and Gowalla support international venues. Places was also only released with an iphone app and a website for phones that support HTML5, this excludes millions of Blackberry and Android users from using a native app to check in.Facebook Places Iphone appGiven these facts Facebook may not gain traction as quickly since it lacks a single killer feature. Also most smart-phones are not able to use the online checkin since HTML5 is still an emerging technology. The lack of international support really is another issue especially in developing countries like Jamaica where check-in based service Foursquare is one the rise.

Facebook does have one feature that trumps both Foursquare and Gowalla, when a friend tags you at a location you are automatically checked in there. Facebook also shows friends nearby, so you can link up. Both features raise serious privacy concerns though, especially if they are turned on by default. Also if you can be tagged anywhere how is this verified?

Facebook Places

It is clear Facebook plans on

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monetizing the service, with a places for business section under their help page (so they are definately competing with Foursquare). Facebook has also promised to have a read API ready (allows applications to work with Facebook Places) which should allow Foursquare and Gowalla to integrate their apps with Facebook’s new service. By allowing Facebook checkins through Foursquare, Foursquare could increase market share by being THE major app for third party checkins on Facebook, since there is no official app got Android or Blackberry (that would be ironic).

It is still too early to tell but with lack of international support and no native applications for Android and Blackberry this seems like a case of deferred success. What do you think? Please comment below:

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Foursquare For Business

// August 7th, 2010 // No Comments » // Social Media Marketing, Technology

Foursquare is a steadily growing social networking that allows people to checkin at different venues. So what if you own/manage one of these venues? Well you can claim it on Foursquare and view detailed statistics on checkins as well as setup Foursquare specials. There is a whole lot more information available on the Foursquare website. However let’s go through some of the dynamics that are not covered on the website.

Foursquare Tips

Foursquare allows users to add a tip to your venue. These tips are there to help other users get the best service at a given venue. Sometimes these tips will be negative which will be a clear sign as to what to improve. Other times the tips may coincide with specials, like enter free before 11pm, or happy hour is between 8-9. No matter what the tip is, you want your customers to leave tips, it is crucial interaction that will help to promote your venue.

Foursquare Specials

You can create specials to reward repeat customers and also to increase the frequency of their visits! Every business has repeat customers, so why not reward them? If someone knows they are appreciated they are going to come back more often. Plus using Foursquare you can reward based on frequency, so for every x checkins within y days you can give them a special! There are so many ways to leverage this feature of foursquare and it is not just giving away products/discounts, it is creating buzz for your business. When someone earns a special then they tell their friends, who then share the story or try to get the special as well. What does this mean for you? The best advertising ever, direct referrals from friends.

Foursquare and the snowball effect

Foursquare allows users to connect with other social networks, namely Facebook and Twitter. According to Facebook the average user has 130 friends. The average twitter user also has 126 followers. Foursquare allows users to share their location with Twitter or Facebook, thus immediately notifying people that they are at a location. Earlier we mentioned creating buzz about a venue, when people see their friends visiting a venue on Foursquare they are immediately more willing to try it (it is viewed as a direct referral from a friend).

When a user shares their location on Facebook then an average of 130 friends will also see that the person has checked in at your venue. Many people have much more friends than 130, I have 750+ which means that potentially you just received free advertising to hundreds of people. Have five Foursquare users share their location in a day and that is 650+ on average. Have just 5 users check-in every day and that’s 19,500 per month. Once again this is direct friend referrals. How does that compare to your standard advertising methods (Radio, TV, Print)? The great thing is, many venues are already getting more business because of Foursquare, by claiming your venue the benefit is being able to track the statistics as well as create specials to generate more business. Think of it as the yellow pages on steroids.

Foursquare is a wonderful accessory to any social media marketing campaign. It can generate huge buzz for your venue online and the results are trackable, you can see in numbers how much your brand is being mentioned. Via tips and tweets you can also see what people are recommending to friends/family and take notes on areas to improve on. You can also find out who are your most loyal customers and reward them!

For more information on Foursquare and how to claim your venue, please contact me: info <at> or on Twitter:

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Foursquare – The next big thing?

// August 6th, 2010 // 4 Comments » // Cool Stuff, Technology

Have you ever heard about Foursquare? By definition it is a geo-location social networking application. For the rest of us, it means it tracks your activities at venues, as a game between friends. There is also a leader board where you can compete with friends each week to see who has gained the most points. Points are given based on how many check-ins you have done that day, if it’s your first time, if you are adding a venue etc. As part of the game, you can also unlock badges and at crowded venues (like a conference) view who else is there.

So how does it help? Well I have been using it for some time now and it is fun! You can become the mayor of venues by signing in the most at a venue within the past 60 days. Want to go out on a Friday night? Just check your friends and see where they have signed in to help choose a destination. Do you like a particular product or service at the venue? Leave a tip for other users! Tips show up when you sign in at a venue, so sign in before you order/purchase. Additionally some venues are partnering with Foursquare to put on specials, so on your third sign in you get a free drink, or when you are a mayor you get a discount on your bill. So far I know the following Jamaican venues offer specials: Chilitos, Fiction Lounge and more are coming!

Is it secure? With Foursquare you have to approve friends to share your location with. Also you can sign in off-grid which allows you to receive points and badges without sharing your location with your friends or the venue you have signed in with. With the right security settings you never have to share you don’t have to worry about sharing your location with anyone.

Who can use it? Anyone with an Iphone, Blackberry or Android powered phone. You will also need a mobile data plan to connect to Foursquare’s servers online. Plus Foursquare can already find friends using the service by connecting to Facebook and Twitter!

In the coming weeks I will be writing more about Foursquare, so stay tuned!

Edit: please also see Video below:

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