FourSquare Day: Changing the Marketing Landscape

By: Mel Joelle


FourSquare is a social network that allows you to “check-in” to a location, which then provides a Google Maps location of where you are. You can then share that information with other friends on FourSquare, as well as update your status on Twitter and Facebook. FourSquare Day takes this a step further by having specified location give incentives for consumers to check-into their locations to receive discounts or even free goodies.

I tested this out myself. While at first I was reluctant to use FourSquare I decided to use it so long as I stayed true to 2 key rules for myself. Rule #1: Don’t Check-in at home… EVER! And Rule #2: Don’t check-in at work! I decided to do this, so that I can maintain a sort of anonymity that many users tend to lose when they join social media sites. Especially when considering sites like PleaseRobMe.com which brings awareness to the many dangers surrounding “over-sharing” on social media.

Today I decided to participate in 4sqDay and eat one of the unhealthiest foods known to man… McDonald’s! Sadly, when I arrived, the guy taking my order had no idea what FourSquare Day was—let alone what FourSquare was. So I got a happy meal and chalked it up as a loss. Later I found out they are giving coupons for the next visit to McDonald’s, which if you ask me is a little anti-climactic for FourSquare Day.

In any case, FourSquare has officially proven its relevance and should have caught the attention of many investors who can appreciate its value! If you think about it, you have hundreds of users sharing their locations and spreading the word about different venues. Although the discounts don’t make it “free” advertising incentives are relatively cheap to offer these coupons and the ROI on the advertising greatly surpasses the expenditures for using this type of promotion.

This is probably the most ingenious and profitable use of social media yet! I predict FourSquare starting a whole new trend in marketing, especially considering rumors that the social site might reach 1 million users after this day’s national event.

Update:

It seems that the success of this company has not gone unnoticed. Search engine giant Yahoo! wants to acquire the social media site for $125 million, which is $45 million more than the company’s current $80 million dollar value.

Personally, I don’t think it’s the time for them to sell; especially if we keep the consumers in mind. This is during a great peak in generating new users and I think the company can grow a bit on its own before deciding to sell-out to a larger company.

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