There are two major contenders presently for “online check-in” for places people visit, Foursquare and Gowalla. Most experts agree Foursquare is winning this battle and in my opinion, I completely agree! Out of all my friends, only one is not using it.
Foursquare is an online application that allows users to check in to places they visit. You can become friends with other users of the system and then compete amongst each for points and bragging rights. You can also earn badges of honor that are more bragging rights to all your friends and also lets people know how you use the application. The most coveted award is becoming Mayor of an establishment. You compete for the mayorship against everyone, friend or not, on how often you visit a place in a 60-day period. The rivalry that builds amongst your peers for being the Mayor of a particular place is what helps drive the addiction and also adds to the fun factor.
As a business tool, it is a great way to gather statistical data on who is visiting and how often. It can also be used to offer special promotions and discounts to the Mayor or the 10th person that visits. If you are a restaurant owner, this is something you should be leveraging. Most of the people that use this application have it connected to their Twitter and/or Facebook accounts so it lets everyone know where they have visited.
Speaking from experience, I have used this application for several months now and had many of my Twitter friends ask questions regarding the quality of the food or service I’ve received while dining. Another great feature is being able to leave “tips” that are displayed when the next user(s) check in. It is especially nice if you’ve never been to that particular business to immediately get a tip from someone you know is a veteran.
This is another great example of how social media truly is word of mouth advertising at the speed of the Internet! If you own a business and would like to know how to leverage it for your business, please contact us today.