Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Early FourSquare "Fan" Strategy Gets Monetized

When FourSquare launched in March 2009, most consumers couldn't "get" why people would want to pinpoint their whereabouts. Twitter was full of "who cares?" commentary.

But FourSquare was smart. By wooing the early adopters with a competitive, one-up game of "Mayor," FourSquare got cool in the right places -- among techies -- real quick.

Today, the social game is poised for a higher paying purpose: commerce.

Now that Near Field Communications are getting closer, Four Square can easily graduate from game to get-down-to-business. As blogger Caitlyn Mayers sees it, there's lots of opportunity for location-based marketing to eat through the landscape. "Think about how this could change your experience at a concert or at a movie. You could purchase tickets for reserved seats, order food and drinks, and pay for it all without having to use more that just your cell phone."

How can a business leverage FourSquare and other location-based apps? In July, business people in Charlotte, North Carolina, were invited to a session titled "The Evolution of FourSquare Marketing." The panel suggested eight fundamentals to help business people think through the possibilities:

• Ask the right questions before leveraging FourSquare for your business.
• Experiment with FourSquare as a user first.
• Listen through FourSquare.
• Understand the basic marketing tactics of FourSquare (tips, specials, badges).
• Build offline community through FourSquare.
• Integrate FourSquare marketing efforts with your full marketing campaign.
• Train your staff to keep them "in the know."
• Promote your FourSquare marketing/specials.

The same month, American Express launched Go Social, a tool that enables retailers to integrate offers to consumers with Foursquare and Facebook.

Clearly, the potential is here -- and when American Express buys-in, the potential is hot.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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