By Ryan Olson
Social Networking is the latest buzz making the rounds around the industry. Consequently, as social media adoption becomes mainstream, the process of reaching your audience and/or customers is changing. While you may be a member of Facebook or LinkedIn, have you checked out one of the newest social networking sites?
Introducing Foursquare, a web and mobile phone application for which registered users connect with friends and update their location. Like its predecessors, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Foursquare is all about helping users find new ways to explore the city by “checking in” at venues such as restaurants, bars, museums, and other local attractions of interest.
I’ve been a Foursquare member for all of three weeks or so. As a newbie, I thought the application itself could ultimately be a fun way to let my friends know about my recent adventures into Chicago, discovering new places of interest and passing along those locations to other friends and users simultaneously.
As a reward to users, some local businesses are also getting into the act. Some businesses offer freebies to engage their mobile customers to use Foursquare in the form of discounts and prizes to their most loyal customers when they check-in at the venue. Some of the companies offering specials include American Eagle, Sports Authority and Ben and Jerry’s to name a few.
So what does this mean to you?
Well that depends. From an editor point of view, Foursquare could be a great tool for you to highlight your journalistic adventures in a quick and succinct way. As editors in the B2B arena, you’ve most likely traveled to some location to get your story. Regardless of the location, chances are, your destination is already on the application, and if it’s not, you can add it.
Foursquare may even offer editors the opportunity to generate some buzz within their audience about future stories they can read about in the next issue.
From a business point of view, the Foursquare application is certainly a form of marketing – FREE marketing. It’s a win-win for both users and the venues that are visited by your mobile customers. In addition, Foursquare allows the user to share your visits via other social networking sites, making use of social networking that much more expansive. The World Wide Web is a vast universe, and Foursquare is just another way to expand into the social networking realm.
Do you use Foursquare? If so, how has your publication implemented it?
Ryan Olson is a former B2B editor who made the transition to sales in 2008.