Posts Tagged ‘Foursquare’

In the last year, the popularity of foursquare, and location-based services in general, has grown significantly.  Last weekend foursquare hit another milestone by passing the three million-user mark.  This is less than two months after they topped two million users. With the growing popularity among users, brands have been trying to figure how they can leverage foursquare as part of their marketing mix.  Several brands have run programs on foursquare featuring branded custom badges, unique check-in tips, and custom landing pages featuring lists of to-do items. While user adoption of foursquare is growing at a staggering pace, many brands are taking a “wait and see” approach before adding foursquare to the marketing mix.

Yesterday, Awareness launched the foursquare Social Marketing Toolkit, which is collection of five pieces designed to help enterprise marketers understand how to leverage foursquare as part of the marketing mix. It’s designed to help sophisticated and novice location-based marketers alike and contains some great sources of information. You can download the foursquare social marketing toolkit here.

For me personally the most informative piece is “foursquare for the Enterprise”, a 45-minute webinar featuring Jason Keath.  Jason weaves actionable advice with real case studies giving marketers an overview of how they can begin to use foursquare in their marketing efforts immediately.  Below is a list of the other pieces included in the toolkit.

  1. “Top 10 Ways Enterprise Marketers Can Leverage foursquare” – graphic eBook
    All the salient points of a 45-page eBook boiled down into an easy-to-consume PowerPoint-like document. Included in the eBook are not only the Top 10 Ways Enterprise Marketers Can Leverage foursquare, but also the top 4 challenges of marketing with foursquare.
  2. “The State of foursquare” eBook
    foursquare is a social network focused on connecting users and allowing them to broadcast their locations using mobile devices including the iPhone, Blackberry phones, and Android phones. In this eBook we will discuss foursquare and how brands can leverage the network as part of their marketing mix. The report features data gathered over the course of the last two months and observational analysis of key brands running marketing programs through the channel.
  3. “foursquare for the Enterprise, A Brave New World” webinar with Jason Keath
    foursquare and several other location-based services (LBS) are the new pretty girl at the party. This webinar breaks down how your business can leverage foursquare and other LBS platforms, reveals emerging foursquare marketing best practices, and how these LBS technologies can improve your other marketing efforts.
  4. “Chapter 21: The Social Marketing Compass, Creating a Social Media Plan” — complimentary download of an entire chapter from Brian Solis’ Engage!
    Brian Solis, author of Engage!, defines the Social Marketing Compass as pointing, “…a brand in a physical and experiential direction to genuinely and effectively connect with customers, peers, and influencers, where they interact and seek guidance online.” He goes on to state, “At the center of the compass is the brand; essentially, everything you do will revolve around it.” He details how the players, platform, channels and emotions all tie together with an enterprise brand to provide you, the Enterprise Marketer, with a Social Marketing Compass to lead you through the new web to help build, cultivate and measure success for your business.
  5. “Chapter 1: Word of Mouth Goes World of Mouth” — complimentary download of an entire chapter from Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics
    Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, describes the current social media movement as a time when, “It’s important to free your content from being trapped in a “walled garden” because people have quickly grown accustomed to the news finding them, and there is no turning back,” and, “Businesses don’t have a choice on whether or not to DO social media, their choice is how well they DO it.”

foursquareA few weeks back our CTO Dave Carter released two eBooks on the State of Foursquare and the Top 10 Ways Enterprise Marketers can Leverage Foursquare.  If you haven’t had a chance to view them yet, check them out, they are both great reads.  During that same time Awareness released Foursquare Perspectives, a free tool that allows marketers to research announced new functionality that provide brands with valuable and useful insights about how Foursquare users are interacting with their physical locations. In addition, we announced that the Awareness Social Marketing Hub supports publishing tips to multiple Foursquare channels.  The message is we believe Foursquare is an underutilized tool in the enterprise and when used correctly it can be a powerful part of an enterprise social media strategy.

I have also been asked to put together a presentation that talks to the challenges and benefits of Foursquare which is below.  The presentation kind of took on a life of it’s own and has grown into an extended graphical version of Dave’s eBook. It uses some of the information included in Dave’s eBooks but goes deeper into case studies and tools utilizing other resources and references.

I’d love to hear from you with any feedback you have on the presentation.  Hope you enjoy it.

Yesterday, Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare met with Adam Ostrow at the Mashable Media Summit in New York City.  During the detailed Q&A session Dennis told the attendees about some of the astounding growth numbers Foursquare is currently experiencing.  They include:

  • Close to achieving 1.6 million users
  • Adding roughly 100K users per week
  • Checkin count is growing by roughly 50K per week

Crowley discussed the issues associated with scaling to support a vast base of users and venues.  He mentioned that while checkins are increasing by (on average) 50K per week, some weeks are higher.  In fact one week saw a jump from 750K checkins to 900K. “It sounds like these are really good problems to have,” Said Crowley.  “But then we sit with our engineering group and these are difficult problem to solve.”

With user adoption and checkins on the rise, Foursquare has established themselves as a serious player in the social media space.  The question is how will they further engage with brands?  Ostrow probed Crowley about how Foursquare partnerships with brands and media companies work.  Crowley responded openly and honestly saying that, “It’s tough right now. A lot of what we are doing are just experiments”.  The big question remains, how can brands and enterprises leverage Foursquare as part of the marketing mix?

Crowley did hint at some ideas for brands as he discussed the underlying intention of the platform which he described by comparing his service to Twitter.  Essentially, Foursquare is for users to leave nuggets of content at locations that can be viewed anytime in the form of tips.  Tweets are more timely – it’s more about what is happening now.  Foursquare content can live in a location forever, while Twitter is more time based.  Translation for brands: Take advantage of the tip functionality to leave users helpful nuggets of content that either tie into a marketing program or relate to your brand in general.

In addition to tips Crowley discussed the “Digital Candy” concept of Badge Rewards.  This is essentially the idea of adding some type of value – monetary or otherwise – to the badges users acquire.  There is obviously huge potential here for brands to single out and reward loyalty.  The question many brands that I spoke with have is, will this system ever be automated or is this something you will need to partner with Foursquare to achieve?  For now, we will wait and see.

The full interview with Crowley is below.  My question to you, should brands be looking at Foursquare as a component of their social media marketing mix?  If so, how should brands leverage the platform?

Watch live streaming video from mashable at livestream.com
Photo Credit: nan palmero – Used under a Creative Commons License