(Image Credit: Toy Book)
I like to believe that I’m a very social person — c’mon now, who else in PR can say that they had a Power Rangers website and forum community at the age of 12?! I networked back then with Fox execs and leaked story lines so fello fans could know what was going to happen on the show. I won’t go into too much detail, but you can read about my Power Rangers adventure at the age of 12 where I navigated forums, conducted RPG chats and made a name for myself (Back then I was known as Lil’ Warrior) on the Euro RSCG Social Community.
Now - back to the title of this blog post. Although I was “social” back in the day, I can’t remember how my life was before Foursquare. It wasn’t until I went to South by Southwest Interactive Festival back in 2010 (Read my original Foursquare Blogpost) where I fully understood the social capabilities of Foursquare.
Before that, I’ve heard of it but never knew was it was. At SXSWi, people were checking in to different sessions just to see who else was in the same session. In fact, people used Foursquare to see who checked in which session to see which one would be worth participating in. I’m guilt of this. I used Foursquare to help me decide between the Transmedia story telling session and the Twitter session. Ironically, I chose the Transmedia session since more people were checked in.
And today, I use Foursquare to check in to work and restaurants. I’m not sure if I’m using it at bars and restaurants in hopes I become “mayor” so I can get a discount because I’m a social person, or because I am cheap. Most likely, it’s a combination of both. I like to check in to see who’s offering deals and discounts, and, the “tips” left from past visitors are usually funny.
For instance, I checked in to a local Chinese fast food place a few days ago where I saw tons of tips. “Don’t eat here!”, “Be prepared to eat with crackheads” and “If you’re dying for food, this place will do” were some comments left. Regardless, I still ordered food but it’s nice to know that restaurants and bars can leverage this tips function more. It’s like the mobile “yelp” but easier since Foursquare asks you to leave a tip upon checking in.
I don’t know what’s so attractive about Foursquare, but I continue to use it. Could it be the funny tips? Potential discounts? Or is it just because I like to be “social”? Who knows, but this tool has made an impact that marketers should be more strategic about implementing beyond the “earn this badge” to receive “ABC” promotion that most execute today. Be nice to see a brand use the “tips” function more often to drive messaging to brands.