Is Foursquare just a toy, and is it right for you?

photo credit: Stewf

With the news that Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined Foursquare and the apparent success of Jimmy Choo’s scavenger hunt, some people may be giving the location-based social networking tool a second thought.

If Twitter asks the question, “what are you doing?” Foursquare asks, “where are you doing it?” Essentially, Foursquare lets you check in to places like stores and restaurants using your phone, earning you points and Mayorships if you visit often enough. Foursquare permits you to share your location with the world or keep it quiet.

Much has been made of Foursquare – whether it’s useful or not. Many people asked a similar question of Twitter more than three years ago: Who cares what I ate for lunch (or where)?

Foursquare can be useful for finding out who is attending a large convention or event. It also allows users to discover past recommendations made by friends; for example a suggestion to try the banana cream pie from your old roommate might pop up when you check in at a new bakery.

If you run a retail shop of any kind, Foursquare is a must. You can offer special deals to your Mayors (people with the most check-ins) and discounts to frequent visitors. It’s a fantastic way of keeping track of your most important customers. By incentivizing check-ins, you will not only encourage people to visit your store and spend money, you’ll be getting them to share it with all of their followers.

If you aren’t comfortable telling everyone where you are, that’s fine (and not everyone always wants to know what restaurants you frequent), but Foursquare offers an opportunity to reach out to the community on a local level.

Hyperlocal engagement is a challenge Wilcox Group has tackled head-on. Some businesses want to harness the power of local networks, and Foursquare is one of many tools that can assist you in achieving your goals.

Michael Allison


~ by Wilcox Group Team on May 13, 2010.

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