Foursquare – A New Social Media Platform

Yes, here I am blogging about social media again. I'm an accountant, I swear it! But I want to help your small business grow, so I pass on information that I think could help. If your bookkeeper is not, maybe it's time to get a new bookkeeper!

So, I've been hearing a new name in the social media mix and I decided to research it's usefulness.

What is foursquare? According to their, "foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways. "

How does it work? Users 'check-in' at locations using their smartphones or text and points, badges, and accolades are earned. A leaderboard is kept and if you check in the most at a certain locale, you become the 'Mayor' of that location. You can go 'off the grid' to check-in and earn points but not broadcast your location to your friends. GPS technology is used to alert you of special offers at nearby locations. You can add tips to pass on info to your network or a To Do list for yourself.

How can this benefit your business? If you have a bar, restaurant, retail establishment, or local attraction, you can drive business to your location by offering specials. "foursquare says you've been here 10x? You get a free appetizer..free admission … 10% off services". Another benefit is word of mouth advertising! What can be better than one satisfied customer broadcasting to their network of friends "@ Donovan's. Try the smothered chicken sandwich, to die for!" In addition, the game-play aspect of the site encourages competition and gives users a fun incentive to check out your place. Read foursquare's page about business use.

How can this benefit a customer / user? I know I am always looking for fun, innovative things to do with my smartphone. A computer in your pocket, gotta love! I can see myself using this application around town, or maybe while visiting another city, to find interesting things to do. This is a relatively new medium. Once businesses catch on, the discounts and deals available will increase.

What's the downside? The downside is that this is a new media that is untested. There could be competition if Facebook decides to get in on geo-location, which would limit foursquare's ability to capture more users. The game-play aspect could get boring or it simply could not catch on in your area.

Tell me what you think. I think it is worth checking out. Show your tech savvy customers that you are interested in interacting with them using the latest methods. One-up the competition by getting in on this reliably early! Do you see this catching on or going by the wayside?

 
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