Archive for WOM

Foursquare: Creepy or Compelling?

Posted in Social Media Marketing with tags , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

I have been trying out Foursquare ( , the location-based social network that lets you earn points and unlock badges by “checking in” to the places you go. I decided to try it because of the marketing potential I was told it may have.  I was a huge skeptic at first; I did NOT want people knowing where I was.  However, Foursquare has hit it dead on. I mean, at first you immediately think you’re making it easier for stalkers and burglars and the like…but then, you start to realize that you DO want people to know where you are. You want to verify to everyone that you do in fact have a life, and an adventurous and social life at that.  It almost becomes a popularity contest, just like Myspace and Facebook were. People thought those were creepy too, but look how popular they got. It’s a game, it encourages interaction and helps you feel important.

The thing about Foursquare is that it does in fact have enormous potential for marketers. For one, it is word of mouth advertising at its finest, you can leave comments on the places that you have visited and comment on the food you ordered, what you liked, what you didn’t like etc. This is clearly great for the restaurant industry, but also good for any brand that uses any type of event marketing. Why? ..because it creates buzz. Foursquare makes it easy to display the exact address of where someone is and gives them the ability to tell their “friends” what is going on at the place they just checked in to.

There is also potential for location-based offers, such as a freebie if you check in somewhere using foursquare. Also, there is potential for loyalty rewards. There is also the potential of branded badges by companies. This is huge, Foursquare will become an interactive game that directly connects people to brands. A unique user experience for sure. Some companies who have already integrated the badge feature are Apple, Harvard and Intel. How many more will follow and create a unique user experience? How big will Foursquare get?


Side note: Foursquare is reinforcement of how important honesty is, with your brand or in life in general. You can’t get away with any deceiving these days!