Saturday, February 5, 2011

Series 1: Post 4: Overview of Foursquare

Foursquare usage is growing by the minute. It is a geolocation social network that you, as a marketer or recruiter, need to know about! Read on to find out more in this 2 part post about what Foursquare is and in part 2 learn the Do's and Don'ts of using Foursquare, which, as a true trend setter should be a part of your millennial recruiting strategy.

Foursquare is one of the fastest growing geolocation social networks. Geolocation is the practice of determining the GPS location of a person and this site allows users to “check-in” at locations, earn badges for multiple check-ins, see where friends have checked-in, and leave tips/photos about certain locations.  2010 represented a year of 3400% growth for Foursquare and it now finds itself with 5 million current users and 381,576,305 checkins and counting. Crazy! Not many Brand Marketers and Recruiters are not fully using this technology.  Some notable brands utilizing Foursquare to build brand awareness and encourage consumer loyalty include Starbucks, InStyle, and People.

Few recruiters are taking advantage of this medium as part of their employment branding strategy.  There isn’t a lot of research or case studies on this topic so it’s an opportunity for recruiters to be real trend setters.  Foursquare is best used in combination with Twitter & Facebook as it can push “updates/check-ins/tips/photos” associated with a check-in to these other social mediums and thus has WOM (word of mouth) potential.   Check in culture extends your message when someone tries to check in, approximately 30% of their network immediately sees that message.

Getting badges and being rewarded for everyday activities is a true 2011 trend and it will continue to grow.  See some cool examples below.  A badge I don’t have but think is pretty cool is the Starbucks Barista badge. Starbucks has worked closely with foursquare to reward local users with the special badge, which is earned by checking into 5 separate Starbucks. By showing this Foursquare badge at the counter, “baristas” get discounts on their purchase – essentially like an old school stamp card; however, this information is held on your smart phone and doesn’t clog up your wallet. This badge rewards current loyal customers, fosters new ones, and allows Starbucks to differentiate itself in a crowded market. Remember there is always a flip side as bad news always travels faster than good news so ensure you have an active listening strategy on these social media sites and address negative tips or feedback ASAP.  Companies can work together with foursquare to create unique badges or have “specials” associated with a check-in at their store, restaurant, or site. Foursquare has amazing tracking abilities for brands to see the number of users checking in and other habits so company’s can better understand their users and target tips/offerings.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post containing Do's and Don'ts of Foursquare that build onto your new knowledge of this platform coming on Wedneseday February 9, 2011! I just had so many ideas after a ton of research that I had to break my post into 2 to keep your attention!

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