What is Foursquare?
Foursquare is social network billed as part social city guide, part friend finder, and part nightlife game. The NYC-based startup is being hailed as the next-generation social network, calling on gregarious technophiles to broadcast their locations via geo-aware mobile devices. What sets Foursquare apart from many competitors in the "local social" space is its undeniably sticky platform. Users are awarded points for their check-ins, and they scramble to earn badges and vie for bragging rights as the most frequent visitor of popular places. In short, Foursquare is fun.
Many observers are quick to draw parallels between Foursquare and Twitter. Both services made their public debuts at South by Southwest (during different years), where both were hailed as breakout hits. One of the reasons behind Foursquare's current momentum can be found in the type of user it has continued to attract: early adopters and social media mavens -- vocal segments that others look to for trends in the space.
Foursquare seems to be very keen to its marketing potential, and its founders certainly have their heads in the game. They are embracing ways to allow businesses to leverage the platform, ranging from integrated promotions and branded badges to fully customized campaign landing pages. Third-party application development has exploded, and we can expect to see marketers using the service in new and unique ways.
Foursquare connects social media to the real world. Finally, marketers have the opportunity to connect online campaigns to the "last 50 feet." This is undoubtedly the brass ring in many social media ROI formulas.
Read on for six steps that will enable you, as a marketer, to begin leveraging the service.