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Foursquare: A Whole New Game

Geo-location gaming is taking the social world by storm. Foursquare is now routinely receiving 300,000 checkins daily and has become the defacto standard in geo-gaming. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, Foursquare centers around “check-in” to businesses and areas of interest mainly around the US. Each check in gives you points and you play against your friends to be a high scorer. Users can then earn badges such as the Mayor badge for frequenting a business more than any other users. Businesses can use social games such as these to offer mayorsspecial discounts and spur competition for others to become they mayor and therefore spur interest in your business.

Here’s some quick Foursquare stats that may be of interest:

Over 500,000 users
Over 1,000,000 badges have been awarded
Over 1.4 million venues with 1200 offering specials
Over 15.5 million checkins

Foursquare is biggest among smartphone users, particularly the younger ones, but is available to any SMS-cable phone (which is 99% of cell phones today). Unlike services such as Yelp (which has also added check-in features) Foursquare is purely a game with very little room for negative comments. Users are encouraged to leave “tips” about places that they have checked-into (visited), but in my experience these tips have been soley positive.

So why wouldn’t a business want to get in on the foursquare game? Well, businesses don’t actually have a choice.Users are able to add businesses that aren’t already in the Foursquare database (and will earn extra points for doing so) so at the very least, businesses should be aware of this new real-world social gaming activity. Who knows, even your employees may be checking into work (thought I would advise against it — that defeats the purpose of the game). The best strategy is the simplest one — to encourage people to visit your business by setting special offerings to the mayor. This works best for retail, restaurants and bars, but could also encourage repeat business among service providers and professional organizations and clubs.

So what’s the delay? With very little maintenance its a simple add on to any promotions strategy.

Written by

David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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  1. […] Last week I talked about how Foursquare is a simple tool for marketing your physical business. […]

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