By Betsy Drazner
The geographic media tool, Foursquare, has been attracting attention from cell phone users since its release in 2009. To use this application it must be downloaded onto a cell phone. Users can download it onto smart phones with GPS locators, or receive the information through text if their mobile devices do not have a location device. Once Foursquare is downloaded it allows users to connect with friends, figure out where places are located in the surrounding area, and receive rewards for checking-in.
Foursquare alerts users to the things that are happening around them. A person may drive through the same area every day on their way to work, but never know that a favorite restaurant is just around the corner. Foursquare allows people to put where they are into perspective.
Checking-in on Foursquare allows users to see which of their friends previously visited a certain place. It also shares friends’ comments about different locations. If a person checks in at a certain store they can access their friends’ notes on the store and figure out whether or not it is worth spending time there or going to the neighboring areas. This application also alerts users about any special deals in nearby locations when a user checks-in.
As far as advertising goes, the appeal of Foursquare is it’s ability to get customers into stores by telling them about special deals near their location. Although there may still be some kinks in the Foursquare system, like the fiasco with Starbucks customers being alerted too often of a Starbucks opportunity, they are being worked out. The Starbucks incident occurred because of the large number of locations within the franchise. This issue is being worked on and Foursquare continues to work hard to publicize nearby deals that will attract customers quickly.
The point system that Foursquare uses gives consumers the opportunity to earn badges. If a person visits a specific location multiple times, Foursquare awards him or her a badge. These badges can translate into tangible rewards. If a person visits a certain place more than any other person, they will be named the mayor of that location. This title comes with specials at certain locations, such as discounted items at a restaurant.
Foursquare allows advertisers to consider who is visiting what stores and how frequently. The companies that exist in Foursquare have a new way of advertising to consumers without putting in too much creative effort.
If a customer visits a place that is not already part of the Foursquare network, they can add it themselves. This gives consumers an opportunity to advertise for a company. Foursquare users have the ability to give positive and negative reviews of the places they visit. This is more reason for businesses to be at the top of their game and make a good impression on public. A company never knows who is reporting back to their friends.