Category Archives: FourSquare

3 ways to find Spring Break paradise with foursquare!

Headed to Spring Break? foursquare can help you get the most out of it wherever you’re headed!

1. Hit up the best spots!
Spending the week somewhere new? Find some lists in the city you’re traveling to for the best places to eat, catch some rays, and party – you’ll have a city guide in your pocket when you arrive! Once you’re there, don’t forget to read tips from locals, and look out for specials to help you to stick to your vacation budget. You can also follow some of our travel brands on foursquare to get some expert tips on making it your best trip yet.

2. Remember the good times.
Let foursquare be your travel journal! Add photos and comments to your check-ins as you go, and relive the whole trip in your check-in history when you get back!

3. See another side of your city!
Hanging around home for a Spring Break staycation? Make a dent in your foursquare to-do list, play tourist and look up sight seeing lists, or fire upExplore and search for ‘Outdoor’ and ‘Arts’ spots to check out.

Enjoy your Spring Break! If you’ve used foursquare on your vacation, tell us about it in the comments.

Making the Real World Easier to Use: Foursquare

I wanted to post Dennis Crowley’s keynote from SXSW.  As usual his thoughts are interesting.

#sxsw #EasyWorld

 The term “social media” is quickly becoming obsolete. The social graph is moving from our computers into the real world, and soon everything we experience will be overlaid with the thoughts and feelings of our friends. Early adopters are already starting to experience this phenomenon. For instance, foursquare alerts you when you’re near places that your friends like, and provides you with suggestions from your friends on what to experience at those places. Other companies are attempting to create this type of engagement with television shows (“10 of your friends are watching!”) and music. In this session, Dennis Crowley, Co-founder and CEO of foursquare, will have a conversation about how mobile technology is accelerating the social graph’s move into the offline world, and how services like foursquare are taking this kind of augmented real-world exploration mainstream.
Dennis Crowley CEO/Co-founderFoursquare

FourSquare Offers New Special Deals

I am very happy to see that foursquare has added features to make it the check in app of choice. And, just as before, it’s all totally free. This post covers just a few of the awesome options added. So, if you deleted foursquare download it again and get back into the action.

Last year, foursquare introduced the foursquare Merchant Platform to give businesses an easy way to reward their customers and find new ones. FourSquare wanted to give merchants a way to learn more about their best customers and start offering Specials to help them get new people into their location.

Now, over a quarter of a million businesses have claimed their business on foursquare. There is everything from mom-n-pop sub shops to thousand-location national chains, and everything in between. Along the way foursquare got lots of feedback  – about making it easier to create Specials, about different ways people have been growing their business, and about tons of fun ways businesses use foursquare.

With the release of foursquare 3.0, everything has been improved: there is an all-new analytics dashboard with all your venue’s information; there’s a new Specials management system allowing you to run multiple Specials at any venues you manage; and before, during, and after the campaign you can now see aggregate statistics. Starting Friday, those quarter million businesses who have already verified, and the thousands more that join foursquare each week, will have these all-new tools to build their businesses. Here’s a sneak peak at the new Specials creation process:

And, just as before, it’s all totally free.

At the core of all of this, though, remains the Specials. With the launch of foursquare 3.0,  new flavors of Specials are introduced that merchants can take advantage of, and there are some amazing launch partners that are getting started with them beginning this Friday.

Flash Specials
Flash Specials are the typical door buster deals – to the first people who arrive after a certain time. For instance, Sports Authority is running a Flash Special from 3/11 to 4/9. Each store randomly unlocks on one day for the first to check-in after 11am to score a free gift card, up to $500 in value.

Another great Flash Special is happening this Friday at 10am at Barnes & Nobleacross the country. Just be one of the first 10 people at any Barnes & Noble to check in after 10am to get $10 off a NOOK Color.

Facebook Expands @ Mention Tagging to Comments

Facebook users can now tag their friends, Pages, apps, Groups, and Events in comments to news feed stories and wall posts to create linked mentions. This will help users carry on conversations with other commenters and allow them to easily reference different entities on Facebook.

In September 2009, users gained the ability to mention friends and other Facebook pages in their status updates and wall posts by typing an “@” symbol followed by the first letters of a name and then selecting from a drop-down menu.

Later Facebook began showing tag suggestions whenever a user capitalized a letter in an update or post, but later removed the feature since it interrupted users who weren’t actually trying to tag anything.

Now users can type an “@” symbol to initiate the tag drop-down menu in comments. Until this release, some users had taken to manually typing @[first name] without it properly linking in order to create unofficial mentions in comments.

When a user is tagged, they’ll receive an notification stating that a friend “mentioned you in a comment.”

The new comment mentions also create new opportunity for Pages. Admins can “Use Facebook as Page” and publish comments that mention themselves on the posts of other Pages in order to attract people to their Page. Since Facebook’s spam filters sometimes hide comments that include URLs, the ability to mention Pages will make sure these types of links are seen.

The update should encourage users to have longer conversations inside the comments reels of posts. Since the comments generate notifications for everyone involved in the thread, not just those mentioned, longer conversations lead to more return visits and greater engagement.

I recently noticed that users can not untag themselves when tagged in comments, whereas they can untag themselves from tagged news feed or wall posts. This means the @ mentions could be abused to associate a user with content they might object to.

Social Media Games: Diamonds or Cubic zirconia?

I have developed and implemented several marketing campaigns that have revolved around social media games. I’m not talking about a Farmville or Mafia War type game. I’m referring to a social media game that generated potential customer leads and got customers more  involved in financial trading.

The client was a financial services company with $200 million in revenue and offices around the world.  This client was going to release a new trading software platform and wanted to introduce customers in a dynamic way.  I had the idea that developing a social game could drive traffic, make the client’s web site stickier, and give customers a reason to return again and again.

My client loved the idea and we set our plan into motion.

We went with the full court press. The total campaign included: direct marketing, seminars, TV spots, banner ads, blogging, and social media…  I admit that it was a long nerve-racking experience. I will also say that it was an extremely successful campaign. With the winner receiving an Audi S5 and the top 20 finishers receiving a share of 200,000 Euro the social media buzz was intense.

The winners got cool cars, vacations, and money.

For me managing the social media experience was worth it’s weight in diamonds.

The social media game revolved around a stock market game that used the client’s new trading software and the stock market.  To see the site Click.

Social Media Driving the Venture Capital World

Reading the WSJ this weekend I saw an interesting Social Media article entitled: A Have and Have-Not Venture World. Top venture capital firms like Acccel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers are all riding the “frenzy” around companies like Facebook inc. and Groupon Inc. to raise billions of dollars in new funds.

These Venture capital firms have to ride the Social Media bubble because there are not many bright places in the economy to invest.

Venture capital firms have been hit hard by the current financial predicament. In 2010 only 119 new venture funds were raised, totaling $11.6 billion in assets. That is down from 215 new venture funds totaling $40.1 billion in 2007, according to research firm Venture Source.

Today’s fund-rising marketing is about a have and have not market,” says Christopher Douvos, co-head of private –equity investing for the Investment Fund for Foundations, an organization that invests in venture-capital funds on behalf of non-profits. “The capital is really focused on accessing the best-performing funds.”

Like always venture capital firms are trying to focus on the best performing funds. And low and behold Social Media ventures are returning big for venture capital firms. For instance Accel, the Palo Alto, California, venture firm alone has raised four new funds based on Social Media. These finds alone have been targeted at more than $2 billon.

Reading the whole article one can see that the best performing funds are those that have anything to do with up and coming Social Media companies similar to Facebook, Twitter, Four Square, and Groupon…

Not only is Social Media driving the Venture Capital market. Social Media is also driving the mobile phone market.  My next blog post will discuss how social media communities  like Facebook and Twitter are influencing cell phone development.

Social Media in Action-Naked Pizza

People always tell me they love the idea of social media but don’t see how it can generate business. The social media example that I like the most is Naked Pizza.

New Orleans-based franchisor Naked Pizza announced last week that it has signed multiunit area contracts in four more U.S. cities, is opening two test stores in Dubai by the end of the year, and plans to expand into Abu Dhabi by 2011.

That gives Naked Pizza more than 300 stores under development in 18 markets just 10 months after launching its franchise operations. Yet the grand opening of its first franchise location, in Miami, is still several weeks in the future.

It’s true that takeout and delivery pizza is a proven business model that’s made to scale. It’s also true that Naked Pizza has fueled its expansion by choosing to award franchises only to experienced multiunit developers willing to operate at least five and as many as 50 locations in their area. Yet at this writing, its only store is a test kitchen in New Orleans.

So what’s behind Naked Pizza’s explosive growth? If you consider it “going viral,” you’re not far from wrong.

Co-founders Jeff Leach and Randy Crochet are frequently quoted as saying that Naked Pizza isn’t a pizza company, but a social media company that sells pizza. In fact, their entire business plan is based on using social media and rapid expansion to promote a healthier version of a popular fast food, one with no sugar or trans fats and about half the calories of the competition’s products.

Here are some ways check-in apps can help your marketing


Here are some ways check-in apps can help your marketing.

Here are some ways check-in apps can help your marketing:
1) They can drive branding. We all need ways to sand out within our market space. If you have interesting services and products, people will naturally want to follow you and learn more. You will have succeeded in gaining their attention and notice. Sometimes getting noticed in the online environment can be the hardest part. Once a business has the attention of potential customers a rapport can be developed and used for business transactions that can benefit everyone involved.
2) They can drive relationship building. The apps let you in on the daily routine of a person’s life and this can help you get to know them better and seek common ground. For instance if you see that friends are flocking to a restaurant or store you are more likely to check-in as well. Foursquare is really good and cost effective way to drive buzz for new services and products.
3) People are attracted to movement and action. If they see you moving about the world, taking part in different events, different activities, you are automatically seen as a “mover and shaker” – this can position you for opportunities and contacts.
4) You can build greater influence. You  can use your check-in status to make recommendations and suggestions for those on your friends list. These can help you be seen as conscientious and helpful.
5) Finally, they are fun. I love to see what other people are doing and to make note of the places I’d like to try too. Again, the first part of all marketing is to get attention- and the check-in apps can help you do this well.
So if you have been reluctant to start checking-in you might  want to reconsider. And yes, I’d love to be Foursquare friends.


Social Media Check-in Apps “Who Cares?”


Social Media Check-in Apps “Who Cares?”

Ok, It’s true confession time. When I first heard of the check-in applications, such as GoWalla or Foursquare, my initial thought was, “Who Cares?”. Now having used Foursquare for a few months, I’m actually enjoying it! And I believe there are some great reasons to use check-in apps as part of your Social Media marketing strategy.
So, for those who might not know, these check-in applications allow you to update your status with an indication of your current place and location. So, let’s say for instance that I’ve gone to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, I can “ckeck-in” here, and all my Foursquare friends will know that I’m there. You can, optionally, also choose to update your Twitter or Facebook status as well. And you can add a comment like great garlic bread.
On foursquare, you are awarded points for your check-ins, and they increase in value the more frequently you check in. You get +1 point for checking in, and +5 points for checking in from a new location. If you check in to multiple places in one day, you are awarded additional points. You are then awarded badges based on your activity. I have found that they are generally clever and fun. On a recent trip to Maui in checked-in at the airport and unlocked the swarm badge- which you get when 30 or more people check in from the same location. So the playful nature of this process is very appealing. It’s also fun to see what badges your friends have unlocked, and to use the application to gain a location and place based sense of what your friends are doing that Day.
Great, you say- sounds like fun. But how can this help me in my Social Marketing strategies…


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