1 square, 2 square, 3 square, FOURSQUARE! Unlock the power of location marketing

Foursquare location marketing

Foursquare location marketingFoursquare? Hopscotch? Playground games for those of us who grew up, ahem, before the millennial generation.  For those of us reminiscing about drawing those four boxes in chalk on the blacktop, get ready to redirect your synapses!

A huge part of Social Media marketing is about integrating the interactive nature of today’s web.  Conversations are now what get you noticed, not press releases.  And if you issue a press release, it had better be able to start a conversation.  Ensuring your company’s messages are heard is as much about putting information out there as it is about engaging others to help you promote your brand.

Location based tools that are now catching on like wildfire such as Foursquare and Whrrl are very, very powerful.  It is kind of like the social media marketing Gods created a gift and in that box was location marketing!  Can your business benefit from this? If you have location based consumer touch points, absolutely! Even if you don’t, there are probably ways to think up fun promotions (think scavenger hunt, etc.) to get your brand’s name out there.

The premise is simple.  Create a check-in location via any of the location tools available, share with your audience that they can “check-in” and make it beneficial to them to do so.  Voila!  You have your customers and their friends promoting your company on your behalf.  Beautiful, no?

The big player is Foursquare, but there are others out there which you might want to investigate to see what fits your needs, such as:

  • Whrrl – www.whrrl.com– a location based social networking and discovery application for several Smartphones.
  • Gowalla – www.gowalla.com– location based service which helps people keep up with friends, share favorite places. User friendly for most smartphones.
  • MyTown – Powered by Booyah, MyTown is an application built around local shops restaurants and hangouts.

Foursquare – the 10,000 lb. gorilla

Almost any smart phone now has a Foursquare application (www.foursquare.com).  When combined with the power of Facebook and Twitter, it is an unstoppable force.  For those still wondering what those posts showing up in your feeds mean, basically whenever you go somewhere you “check-in” via Foursquare and it let’s your friends know where you are.  The theory was that people could meet up with their friends.  What has proven to be a major marketing coup, is the free publicity locations are getting each time a customer checks in.  Here are some great examples of creative marketing using Foursquare:

  • BART San Francisco  – BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in the San Francisco area offered a BART-themed badge that can be unlocked by regular riders of BART.  They awarded $25 promotional tickets each month for the next 3 months to riders who have logged Foursquare check-ins at BART stations.   Chosen at random, participants started helping BART publicize to their friends!  Integrated with Facebook, it almost makes riding mass transit seem fun. Now THAT was a challenge!
  •  Bravo TV  – Bravo TV in an ingenious move to help boost the buzz of their reality shows, offered Foursquare user badges and special prizes when viewers visit more than 500 Bravo locations. The locations are popular/recognizable locations from the Bravo shows we all know and (secretly) love, including The Real Housewives, The Millionaire Matchmaker, Top Chef, Kell on Earth, Top Chef Masters and Shear Genius.

I could go on and on with fun examples.  Personally, I take this as a challenge to see what fun and creative ways we can help promote our clients.  It’s a big, bad marketing world out there.  If you don’t play the Foursquare game, what will you do?