Location based social media : Foursquare

Location based social media like Foursquare is probably the hottest thing in the digital industry now, after Facebook and Twitter.

Using a GPS-enabled phone with internet access (you can also check-in by installing a Firefox plugin named Foursquarefox on your browser), you can ‘check-in’ to places (physical or virtual) and earn points, badges and mayorship. In Malaysia, its adoption is picking up slowly with Foursquare being the most popular choice while the rest like Gowalla, Whrrl and MyTown are still relatively unheard of.

I‘m now discovering Foursquare, using my HTC Magic to log into my breakfast spots, supermarkets and even shops near my workplace. Logging in using my Twitter ID, I also link up with my friends to make up a community sort of. The most interesting part is of course the earning of badges and mayorship. At the moment, I’m mayor at 11 places .. which is still a far cry from other’s over 40 mayorship.

Fun aside, Foursquare is an excellent marketing tool especially for those with a brick and mortar presence.

If your business is yet to be listed on Foursquare, you can easily add it in by logging into Foursquare and claiming it.  To claim the business, you need to paste the contact page of your website or paste your contact information. Foursquare will contact you to verify that you own the business. Thereafter, you can create specials for those who check-in your outlet. Here’s the specials that are currently available on Foursquare :-

Mayor specials
This special can only be unlocked by the mayor of your outlet. Mayor is the user whom has checked in the most time in the last 60 days.

Count Based specials
This special is unlocked with an x number of check-in as specified by you.

Frequency Based specials
This special is unlocked with every x-number of times as specified by you.

Wildcard specials
This special is unloced at all times, however you can apply additional conditions before awarding the special. You can be creative with wildcards – so let your creative juices flow!

In US where Foursquare use is rather widespread, some companies has successfully implemented Foursquare as a marketing medium, like the ones covered in http://socialfresh.com/foursquare-case-studies/  I foresee Foursquare to be a tool that will soon be adopted by Malaysian businesses with retail outlets targeting end-consumers. But that does not mean that those with virtual storefronts will not jump into the bandwagon.

As digital marketing gets into full swing, we will see more companies adopting Foursquare as part of their marketing outreach tool.

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