A few days ago, local Tampa blogstar Miss Destructo published her reasons why businesses around town should take advantage of FourSquare Day (this April 16th) to offer value to their customers and get their name out there… And I agree completely!
Check out Destructo’s riff here: Why Tampa Needs To Be Excited About Foursquare Day
An excerpt (added with her kind permission):
Foursquare is an application you can use on your I-Phone or Smartphone to “check into” places in your town. By doing so you can see if your friends may be checked into the same place, earn badges and even become the mayor of the location if you visit the place frequently. At first about hearing of Foursquare, I was pretty sure I might as well just give the stalkers my address. But it does have privacy features and not to mention more and more businesses are embracing foursquare for a promotional tool. Example: Hyatt Regency Tampa is giving a 50% eatery discount to anyone who becomes the Foursquare Mayor of their hotel. [...]
But if that’s what you want Tampa, get involved with Foursquare Day. Check into those businesses on that day that are offering discounts, get rewarded, finally meet those people that have been stalking you. Do you go to a place that isn’t announced as an Foursquare Day check-in spot? Find them on twitter, tell em about Foursquare.. show em this post… maybe they’ll get on board as well.
Not much more to add there, other than it would be great to see more businesses embrace not only FourSquare, but other Social Media avenues as well to get discovered and attract people.
A last point of encouragement: Businesses should not fool themselves into waiting until a platform gets to a certain point in its growth to then embrace it. As long as the services are free for the users, we have seen time and time again that people naturally flock to where value is offered.
In other words, businesses embracing services like FourSquare (and communicating this effectively) will increase their customer’s usage of those services, if only to take advantage of the offers they put out.
Find more about FourSquare Day here:
You can also follow the hashtag #4sqday on Twitter for real-time updates.
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For weeks, my wife has been sitting on a coupon to a newish Irish pub in downtown St. Petersburg. On a rainy Sunday afternoon, we decide to finally give the place a try for lunch. But then, something goes wrong. Instead of just enjoying my beer-battered cod sandwich and pint of Guiness, I’m obsessing over one ridiculous idea: Who is Kevin L. and why should he be mayor here?
For those of you who know FourSquare, I don’t have to explain. Kevin L. is someone who’s checked in enough times to earn his spot as “mayor” of the place. I, on the other hand, am a newbie to this pub and, to make matters worse, am a newbie to FourSquare. Of course, I’d long been aware of how FourSquare works and its potential, not just as a fun shared-experience locator, but as a great marketing tool for those with the savvy to tie into it. It’s just that, belonging to the species HomoTimestrappus, I’d never really had occasion to play with FourSquare until this very moment.
Now, with iPhone in hand, and a cold cod sandwich wrestling with abandonment issues, I’m obsessing over a single thought: “You’re going down Kevin L.! ”Foolish? Perhaps. Waste of time? Almost certainly. (Did I mention it’s a rainy day with not much going on?)
I should disclose at this point, I’m not the only one who’s slipped into must-be-mayor predator mode. My wife discovers that the nearby post office has NO MAYOR at all! Talk about a golden opportunity! Imagine the street-cred you earn as mayor of the post office. I’m sure they bump you right up to the front of the line and give you some sort of special stamp with your picture on it! So, there we are, both checking in with reckless abandon, ignoring the friendly FourSquare pop-up admonishment that says we’d already had our share of check-ins for the day.
That was last weekend. Now, in a calmer moment of reflection, I’ll be the first to admit there’s no real benefit to being mayor of a faux-Irish pub… unless the proprietor is cool enough to provide some marketing freebies to the honorary potentate (I saw no such offers posted). And yes, there are so many more social media applications that really warrant my attention far more than FourSquare. For instance, only a day later, I receive notice that Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook, is now launching a new interactive tool meant to connect would-be volunteers to worthy causes. It’s called Jumo. Check it out. http://www.jumo.com/
You’re presented with is a zany questionnaire that asks you all sorts of seemingly random questions. I imagine they’re building some type of psychometric volunteer matchmaker profile. But honestly, when they ask you whether you’d name your daughter Grace or Brianna, you begin to wonder, has the Facebook guy gone off the deep end?
Still, it’s a laudable pursuit and it gives me hope that social media is going in a generally positive direction. Sure, I can waste my time trying to be mayor of some downtown pub. But I can also volunteer my time with something that might actually contribute in a meaningful enduring way (Hope you’re successful Facebook dude! Count me in!). So, with this final, uplifting impression of a world wherein we truly do more connecting than fracturing, my mind races with the potential of what could be and how these new tools and resulting communities could actually do some good.
And, with that said, I lift up my pint of Guiness in this celebratory toast: ” You’re still going down Kevin L!”