Foursquare is fun and big brands are figuring that out.
Geolocation or Geotracking services are picking up steam and in my post about Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp I was still sifting my way through it. I’ve seen an increased discussion on social media platforms like Twitter and even just in word of mouth with friends. A lot of people are still scared of getting in the game because of sites like Please Rob Me and the recent news of a gang that was using Facebook Place to rob houses. I cant disagree that there isn’t some form of risk but in the Facebook case, these people didn’t seem to have their profiles secure and that’s 90% of the problem. I guess we should be thankful for dumb criminals that can’t help but use Facebook while committing a crime.
I use Foursquare more than any of the other services. There’s something about working towards the goal of becoming a Mayor of some place. You can search for numerous stories of how people from all over covet the Mayor status at their favorite places. A true testament to this frenzy is that secondary websites have popped up so people can get a clear view of what it will take for them to become the Mayor on Foursquare.
With that type of engagement from people, it makes perfect sense that companies are taking note and getting involved. Starbucks was the first I saw that used Foursquare when they were giving out free drinks if you showed the barrista that you were the Mayor of that location. Big brands are creating entire social media marketing campaigns around Foursquare. Recently I saw that McDonalds saw a huge impact on a campaign that cost them a measly $1000.00. McDonald’s head of social media Rick Wion tweeted that, “the 33% increase was in the number of checkins. We consider checkins the same as a person entering the restaurant.”
This seems to work well for the B2C market with clothing and food but the trick will be to see how B2B brands can adopt or at least be relevant in the space. An example that worked for B2B in the Foursquare world was the Intel partnership during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and offered unique badges and freebies for check-ins. Companies that attend shows and host events could use Foursquare as a megaphone for their brands.