In this post I would like to introduce you (if you haven’t been introduced yet) to the quite trendy topic that has been emerging over the last few years – The Social Media. The word Social indicates our human need to communicate with other humans around us (Safko, 2012). We are always looking for individuals or groups to interact with, to make ourselves feel comfortable while sharing feelings, thoughts, ideas and experiences. The word media in this term refers to the instruments we use to get through to the individuals or groups we want to be attached to. Social media is widely used by various businesses to reach their target audience.
What I would like to define in this post is location-based social media tool know as the Foursquare. The idea behind foursquare is to ‘check-in’ in various places using your smartphone and letting your friends know what is your current location. In addition to that, if you constantly check-in in specific spots you are being awarded by, what they call, ‘badges’. For example, if you achieve a large number of check-ins in gym you will be awarded with the Gym Rat Badge. However, being awarded by different badges does not mean that you are just collecting nice pictures in your Foursquare profile, you can also compete with friends, and the most important, you can get generous promotions being offered by the marketers in the current location. If you reach a high level of check-ins in a bar, you might become a ‘Mayor’ of the place and be entitled to the box of beer (this is what actually happened to my friend in Russia, he received large box of Budweiser). According to Foursquare statistics, over 45 million people all over the world use this application to find places to visit and they are spreading the word about their favourite spots. (Foursquare for Business, 2014). Foursquare is changing rapidly, it was the place people went to see where their friends had been and now it’s about where they go for local information. (Reporter, 2014)
So how does Foursquare benefits businesses that are using it? As we all know that the main objective for a business is to keep the customers happy, while use of foursquare in your business can improve the experience of your clientele through interacting with social media and getting the special promotions. Businesses can use FS as a promotion tool by posting updates and special deals, at the same time customers are welcome to leave a review or tips for their friends that will be visiting the location in the future. This approach allows businesses to interact with their customers via social media. One of the great examples of integration of FS into business is shown by Starbucks. They were able to deliver to their customers the idea that their coffeshops are the great study area by alerting students that they can grab a coffee and use free wifi access point. They were also able to come up with various badges for the fans of their brand name and product. (Chua and Banerjee, 2013, pp. 237-249)
The foursquare is interconnected with other social media tools and apps such as FaceBook, Tweeter, Instagram, etc. So whenever you checking-in in a specific place your location is being spread all over your accounts giving a wide range of promotion to the place of check-in. Now businesses are able to send out updates to the users of Foursquare including specials, deals, announcements and other information about their business. Entrepreneurs are also encouraged to pay a fee to be promoted within the foursquare, whenever their potential client is opening and Explore Mode within application. (Honigman, 2012)
As mentioned before the use of social media and especially the foursquare has significantly increased over the past years. It is cheap way to promote your business by getting the attention of your potential clientele. The future is after technology and Foursquare keeps improving its technology in order to keep up with expectations of todays buyer. If you have a business and you are tired of having people just passing by, get a foursquare account and catch you potential client on the go with nice specials and updates.
Chua, A. Y. and Banerjee, S. 2013. Customer knowledge management via social media: the case of Starbucks. Journal of Knowledge Management, 17 (2), pp. 237–249.
Foursquare for Business. 2012. Your Listing. [online] Available at: http://business.foursquare.com/listing/ [Accessed: 5 Mar 2014].
Foursquare for Business. 2014. Overview. [online] Available at: http://business.foursquare.com/overview/ [Accessed: 5 Mar 2014].
Honigman, B. 2012. 10 Ways to Market Your Business With Foursquare |. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/foursquare-marketing-tips/ [Accessed: 4 Mar 2014].
Kerpen, D. 2011. Likeable social media. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Reporter, S. 2014. Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley: buyout offers are coming in, but we’re not selling | memeburn. [online] Available at: http://memeburn.com/2014/03/foursquares-dennis-crowley-buyout-offers-are-coming-in-but-were-not-selling/ [Accessed: 4 Mar 2014].
Safko, L. 2012. The social media bible. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
Sponder, M. 2012. Social media analytics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Tay, A. C. H., Glass, G. and Chew, S. W. 2013. Using FourSquare. Check-ins are not just for books!. Library Management, 34 (6/7), pp. 3–3.
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