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Foursquare Promotions Become Real

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

We’ve been seeing and reading a lot recently about about Foursquare. Some feel its another social media fad with limited opportunity due to its small user base. Others feel that whilesmall, the Foursquare community is vibrant and vocal and worth investing in.

While I am still forming an opinion on the topic, what I find more curious is that I have never actually seen a promotion involving Foursquare with my own eyes. I am a fairly avid “Foursquarer” with 14 mayorships under my belt. Yet, no bars I go to give a free drink to the Mayor and I haven’t earned any branded badges. I found it troubling that outside of industry articles, I couldn’t in reality experience how Foursquare could be a useful promotional tool. Until today that is.

When I checked into my office this morning I noticed a banner at the top of the page that said “Special Nearby”. When I tapped the banner a new page opened offering a special from the Ben & Jerry’s down the street.

“While you’re in the hood, you should hit up the Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop! Check in and get 3 scoops for $3. Show that you’re mayor and get an extra scoop on us.”

This was great, I finally received a promotional offer through my Foursquare. While I enjoy being mayor of the office and many nearby restaurants and bars, its nice to see I could finally get something for my Fourquare efforts. Also, I loved that the tone of the copy was appropriate for the average Foursquare user, casual and fun.

Am I sold that this is an effective tool to bring to my clients? Not fully. It really requires the perfect marriage of the right product, brand and audience. However, I am more confident that there is a strong promotional future for location-based apps and promotions. My question is, who’s next to pop up on my phone?

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