Foursquare is a geolocation social networking site. Users check in at various stores, restaurants, museums and even offices to get points to earn badges, get “freebies” or discounts and even become “mayor” of the place visited.
Why are there more than ten million users on Foursquare? The simple answer – it’s just fun. People want to know where their friends are and they are competitive in nature so they want to earn badges and become mayor of various places. Many keep “playing” because they can get free items or discounts.
The other day, I was in the Atlanta airport and checked in on Foursquare. I was immediately prompted by a special that offered me two free samples of Kheil products on Concourse B. I was so excited, I quickly ran over there to get my reward. The counter person was very happy to greet me and smiled when I showed him my Foursquare check in.
“I’ve got something special for you,” he said and he handed me to items that I didn’t really think were sample sizes. I thanked him and went my merry way.
Here are some case studies:
• The History Channel created an “America” series, where every time you check in on Foursquare (and you are following the History channel), you are asked a trivia question and provide information on the location.
• One charity was offered a substantial donation using Foursquare. The challenge was to get people to check in. Every check in, earned the charity $10. The charity used subway ads and other awareness builders to get as many people to check in as possible. Each check in also was shared on Facebook and Twitter which gave the charity ample publicity.
• One health club used check ins as discounts on potential items that they sell. The mayor was even given a free training session!
• A post office used Foursquare to find a mayor. When the mayor was established that person was able to go to the front of the line when they checked in.
• A New York City restaurant used Foursquare check ins a little differently. When someone photographed pigeons and checked in on Foursquare they were rewarded with a free drink