Posts Tagged ‘Foursquare’

Foursquare: why the f* should I care?

By Kathy Van Looy

 Saturday evening. Barbecue. My friends know I’m kind of a social media addict, so they pop a question: “That ‘check-in’ thing, what’s it called? Foursquare or something? Seriously, that is so damn stupid. What’s it good for? It’s made for people who like to brag about where they are, and who they are with.” Hmmm. Must. Keep. Calm. Will keep calm because they are my friends. Great friends by the way. But seriously? You should try something first, before breaking it down. So for them and all those others out there who think Foursquare is a nuisance and for braggers only: here’s what it’s all about.

This is Wikipedia’s definition on Foursquare: Foursquare, stylized as foursquare, is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users “check in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby.[3] Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”.

So yes, it’s also for braggers. But the braggers are the stupid ones. Because the best feature on Foursquare is the fact that you can read and share “tips” to venues which serve as suggestions for great things to do, see or eat at the location. So really, it helps you to avoid the basic touristic traps. Eg: you are in Ibiza, and you want to go to a restaurant. Where should you go? Where are the closest restaurants? And are they any good?  The best thing to do is to check in on Foursquare: it’ll immediately tell you where the closest restaurants are (from where you are standing), AND you can immediately see recommendations from other people on the menu, the location, etc. Honest crowd feedback as we like to call it. The key to success by the way. And of course, when you’ve eaten, you can share your experience as well. And if you ever go back to Ibiza and you can’t remember where the restaurant was, you can just go back to Foursquare and find all the info back. No need to write anything down: it’s all there. Registered in your device. Easy. And for those with their own business, Foursquare is of course a great PR tool, especially when people check in and link it to their Facebook or Twitter page: extra visibility, free PR. Use it.


The big success of these location based, social powered and accessible on mobile devices (SoLoMo), lies in the fact that people prefer to follow opinions and experiences from their peers (or network): peer review and peer influence are critical factors in the buying cycle. In normal words: before you buy a new TV, who do you turn to first? Exactly: your family. Friends. People you trust. You follow their opinions, you listen to what they have to say.   

And where is this going to? I don’t want to scare anyone, but soon they will be able to sniff your intentions, and give you info on that. Eg: I check into my Delhaize supermarket. Based on my fidelity card, my profile and location, they will soon know everything about my shopping behaviour. And as soon as I check in, the supermarket will send me alerts on which of my favourite products are in promotion that day. Or a nice recipe I could try based on the stuff I’ve bought. Yes, it’s scary. But that’s where we are heading. Get ready for it.




Men Are From Foursquare, Women Are From Facebook

By Helen Nowicka

Our fascination with the differences between men and women has spawned countless TV shows, hit songs, and best-selling books. And now we’re starting to understand how gender also influences social media use.

I began thinking about this while reading Porter Novelli’s EuroPNstyles research, conducted among  consumers in the UK and other European countries by my colleague Melissa Taylor, EVP of strategic planning and research. Drilling down into the facts and stats around social media, several clear trends emerged showing that the same preferences and behaviours are being played out in the digital space just as they are offline.

Of course both sexes are highly engaged in social media, but our data indicates that women are using social channels to reinforce existing social connections, and to interact with friends and family. By contrast men demonstrate a clear bias toward showing or sharing status, and promoting their opinions to the wider world. Never mind Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – today it seems Men are from Foursquare, Women are from Facebook.

I pulled some of these trends into a presentation that I gave as part of Social Media Week London, here are a few UK highlights:

  • Women are more socially active than men:  65% of women access social media at least once a week, compared with just 51% of men
  • Women are more likely to connect with people they know: 93% of women using social media do so to read posts and view pictures from friends or to comment on their friends’ profiles. For men the numbers dropped to 89% and 84% respectively.
  • UK women lead the rest of Europe in following brands to access deals and offers – this is the motivation for around 64% of women in social media, compared to a European average of just 52%, and 56% among UK men.
  • Men are more likely to use social networks to display status and opinions. In the UK, 45% of men use social media to check into places compared with just 33% of women.  Men are also happier to broadcast what they’re saying to the world: 35% of socially-savvy men are Twitter users compared to 27% of women.
  • Men are also more active in the blogosphere: 54% of digitally-active men say they seek out other people’s blogs to read, compared with 46% of women. Men are more active bloggers than women too (34% vs 24%).

It’s interesting to see that Forrester, the Wall Street Journal, comScore and even Facebook are all seeing similar trends, although brands and marketers are not always following suit. As Forrester’s Tracy Stokes argues: “Women have the potential to drive a brand’s reputation online because compared with men, they are more connected with each other and like to talk about brands and products, especially in social media. But marketers, particularly in more male-oriented categories like finance, are not making a digital connection with women.”

It sounds simple but in this new era of communications, it’s not enough to know how to “do digital” – we still need to understand people and what influences them, regardless of the medium.  Those brands that manage to combine social media savvy with human insights will maximise their chance of success.

Note: EuroPNStyles is an annual study conducted by Porter Novelli among more than 10,000 European consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands (UK sample = 1,700 people). It reflects our agency’s belief that research uncovers insights which can trigger behavioural change.


The REAL fun of checking-in

Originally posted on I <3 Social Media by Marta Majaweska

This morning I woke up at 5am. It might be the jet leg kicking back in but I blame something else for it. I blame Foursquare.

Right before I woke up, I dreamed that I was checking-in and unlocked a Magic Badge that no one else have ever unlocked. Like EVER. Once I was awake, I couldn’t fall back asleep and I started thinking about all the badges I still had to unlock at #SXSW and gift cards I could collect by checking-in … and that was when I realized that this is the first time since I can remember that I got truly got excited about the location-based services.

I’m an early adopter so I’ve been using Foursquare since forever but the only exciting thing about Foursquare in Europe is the fight over the mayorship of my office and hotels while I’m travelling. And occasionally getting a badge. But let’s be honest, the only reason why I actually do it is because I am a geek. I would not be able to make a good case if someone asked me why they should use Foursquare in Belgium, for instance. Now I am in the US, I can see how brands and retailers are using location based services to create experiences, retain customer loyalty and drive sales. And how they bring fun to checking-in. Wherever I go, and not only in Austin during the geekiest festival in the whole world, but all across the country, there are specials available on every corner that include discounts, coupons, gift cards, free drinks and snacks. Here, I would not be able to make a good case on why NOT to use Foursquare.

I have always said that location-based services will only go mainstream if retailers find a way to create value to motivate consumers to jump on the check-in train. Location-based services represent a great and new access point for brand engagement as well as marketing opportunities and it’s killing me that brands do not want to start using it to its full potential.


My “check-in” beats your “like” anytime

Originally posted on Heliade by Danny Devriendt

For brands, creating engagement in any way is key… that’s why they are in social media in the first place. In recent months, a telltale signal to determine that engagement at a glance is the number of “likes” a brand collects all through the brands online ecosphere. Fueled by mostly Facebook, the hunt for likes is powering an important part of the Social Media roll out, and, between us: that is a bad thing.

A number of “likes” does not show you in any way the quality or quantity of engagement with your target audience in any way… for that more intelligent sets of data should be explored that give more relevant information on quality, sentiment, loyalty and behavior.

And a “like” is just a wrong metric. Clicking on it is often a gratuit gesture… for most consumers it means nothing more than a thoughtless “click”.  There is no bar, no effort, no real thinking, and thus way too often no real intention or engagement.

Personally, I have more respect for the location based check in. A check in, is like a “like”, but only better. Checking in means that people are linking their real life location and behavior (shopping, eating, going to a concert,…) with their offline social media ecosphere. They went through an experience that reverberates in the social spider web. Location based social check-ins are more and more combined with the ability to rate the experience, adding a tremendous potential added value for the brand. Having people checking in from stores, airports, planes, restaurants and events and giving a positive social rating turns every active “checker” into an active brand advocate.

People will trust the review of someone who actively ate at a restaurant way more than one from someone who just punched the “like” button on a website.

Check-ins new style will beat up likes big time ;-)


Ronald Reagan fathered Foursquare

Originally posted on Heliade by Danny Devriendt

There, did that get your attention? I thought it might… :-) Tim O’Reilly caused quite a stir @ #SxSW when he proclaimed that Ronald Reagan was the mental father of Foursquare.

But he has a point. Let’s go back into history: while the Beatles were working on their White Album, the U.S. Navy and Air Force slotted together a system that would enable navigation on a plethora of applications. A set of incompatible systems was developed, until the US Department of Defense decided in 1973 to unify the existing systems. With atomic clocks carried on geostationary satellites (predicted by Arthur C. Clark) , the Navstar Global Positioning System became a huge success. In the beginning, military use had priority, and accurate positioning was not possible for civilian systems.

The disaster with Korean Flight 007 in 1983, a mortal tragedy that could have been prevented with more accurate location awareness, made President Ronald Reagan decide that accurate GPS signals would be available worldwide and at no charge. Reagan’s directive angered quite a lot of military decision makers, but stood at the cradle of the location driven social media that is so popular today.

The military not only got us the backboned, dynamic rerouting internet (and an internet of things by that), but also stood at the very beginning of Google places, Gowalla and Foursqaure. Not to mention Augmented Reality, that made it directly from the cockpit of the Apache fighting helicopter into the smartphones. Presidents and generals at the roots of social media, a slightly disturbing thought….;-)



by Marta Majewska

Shopkick is a new geo-location app that will allow retailers send coupons and special offers to customers’ mobiles when they enter a store!

As opposed to other location based apps like Foursquare or Loopt, Shopkick does not rely on GPS or Wi-Fi but uses a custom system that only works with certain hardware installed in the partnering store (for now only US stores e.g. Best Buy or Macy’s). That means that shoppers, who download the application, will get discounts and promotions when they physically enter the store – is there a better way for brands and retailers to directly communicate with the potential customers?

The app will be available in the next few weeks on iPhone, and later on other smart phones.

Wanna know more? Check out the Tech Crunch video below:

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