Adults ruin everything kids deem cool and hip … Facebook, fashion, music … and even Four Square.
You remember that game you played in elementary school with the handball and the four squares painted on the black top? Well this FourSquare is a little different.
For those of you unaware of this new Internet phenomenon, FourSquare is basically a mobile application that allows you to “check in” when you are at a new location, connect with people who are there or have been there, and earn rewards for frequent visitation.
I joined FourSquare six months ago and promptly quit when I got a computer virus shortly thereafter (I can’t guarantee it was because of FourSquare … it could have been purely coincidental).
Since then, FourSquare has catapulted to the potential “it” Web application of 2010, showing three-times growth in a two-month period (as reported in early February 2010 by ReadWriteWeb.com); growth by nearly 100,000 users in 10 days and more than 22 million check-ins by its users since late-March 2010 (as reported by Mashable).
Any kinks that I originally experienced are long-gone. FourSquare is here to stay.
So why use it?
- learning tips about specific locations
- finding out where a hot-spot is based on quantity of check-ins
- special offers and freebies for frequent customers (as tabulated by managers/owners of locations monitoring FourSquare)
- finding friends easily
- learning about new locations in your area
- navigating new cities or places based on peer review
What FourSquare means for businesses and marketers?
- Location, location, location. Marketing is on the move. For example:
“Location based consumer targeting looks set to provide benefits for both Foursquare and a number of the companies it has reportedly signed deals with, such as restaurant recommendation site Zagat and Warner Bros, with the promotion of new film Valentines Day offering users the chance to win unique Foursquare badges (Source: Punch Communications).”
- Word-of-mouth marketing has gone (pardon the buzz word) viral. We went from mass e-mails to YouTube to Facebook to Twitter … and now FourSquare. Ignoring social media in marketing campaigns is like ignoring the Mack Truck coming right for you.
- Marketing campaigns must be integrated. FourSquare gives users the options to post reviews that include links to blog posts or Web sites, and they can share all of that information with their thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends with the simple click of a button on their hand-held mobile device.
So yeah … I like FourSquare now. And even though I’m relatively new to it, the value is apparent and based on research it appears that this sort of location-based marketing will only continue to integrate itself into our society as Yelp recently launched a location check-in application.
“Many people presume it’s only a matter of time until Facebook moves into the location space, which will seriously shake that market up. Yahoo this week had a patent published for geo-located, social Augmented Reality (Source: ReadWriteWeb).”
If you don’t believe this lowly Type A media/marketing-junkie, maybe you’ll listen to BusinessWeek’s senior writer Om Malik about why he loves it.