Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@alisonrothwell) or are facebook friends, may have spotted some little announcements from me, saying where I am. These are all generated by an interesting social media app, Foursquare.
The idea behind Foursquare is that you use your ‘phone to log your wherabouts or as Foursquare put it:
“Foursquare is a mobile application that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. It is a friend-finder, a social city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards them for doing so. Foursquare lets users “check in” to a place when they’re there, tell friends where they are and track the history of where they’ve been and who they’ve been there with.”
So it works on a few different levels – a kind of diary (where you record where you go), a guide book (which tells you about interesting places near to your location), a game (where you collect profile “badges” for various places you check in and actions you take) and a “friend finder” (presumably this is when you spot all your pals are the local coffeee shop without you and you dash out to be with them, like in an episode of Friends).
Interestingly though, there are a few ways that a business can use Foursquare for some promotion.
“Check in” to a place enough times and you earn the status of “Mayor” an icon which can be viewed on your profile. Canny restaurants and coffee shops are rewarding Mayors with freebies, such as a free lattes for the duration of their Mayorship. As every time someone checks in to a venue, their friends are alerted, it’s a great opportunity for some viral marketing, and if you are offering a prize to the person who checks in the most…
Other businesses are offering a special offer as a “tip” which can be viewed when Foursquare users check in to their venue or are nearby.
If you’d like to connect with me, my profile is here: Foursquare