This one isn’t so much full of takeaways as it is general news. As Foursquare reached and exceeded the 10 million user mark, ClickZ summarized the top brands leveraging the platform for marketing purposes. During the past 18 months, use of the platform as a marketing channel has exploded among brands ranging from small local businesses to big names like Ikea and Victoria’s Secret. Tactics range from rewarding “mayors” of store locations (a title which is becoming harder and harder to come by) to offering discounts and free merchandise for check-ins. And the best news for businesses is that it doesn’t cost a dime to use Foursquare as a marketing platform.
Social media is no longer the shiny new thing, and with its age has come the wisdom that social media tools are not the silver marketing bullets everyone wanted to believe they were. This article addresses the shift in mentality taking place among marketers who are beginning to understand what we and many others have been saying all along – like everything else (email marketing, SEO, PPC, offline collateral) it’s all about strategy and giving your audience what it wants.
Earlier this week, Foursquare unveiled improved and expanded services for business, complete with a “Quick Start Guide” to help them get started. Not everyone is thrilled with the change, but the update largely presents great opportunities for brands, particularly small businesses and merchants.
Gowalla made a major move this week when it unveiled Gowalla 3.0 for the iPhone (an Android version is coming soon), which allows users to perform unified check-ins across services. Integration with Twitter is nothing new, but now Gowalla users on the iOS platform can check into Gowalla, Facebook Places and Foursquare from one application.
Takeaway: If you’re a Facebook Places or Foursquare devotee, Gowalla is not worth another look. On the surface it may seem as though Gowalla is tossing its hat into the ring as mobile applications and social networking tools vie for world domination, but really, Gowalla is simply responding to user needs. If you’ve ever tinkered with Gowalla, you know that its UI is pretty lovable, but it’s a hassle to have one more place to check in while your friends are using Facebook and Foursquare. Gowalla is bringing them together to address that complaint. There are other enhancements brought by Gowalla 3.0 that create a richer experience for its users, including better picture integration, a new UI, a new location bookmarking feature and the ability to leave personalized notes for other Gowalla users at any location around the world.
Angela Brown, Marketing Manager
During my daily blog scan this morning, I came across this article by Jay Dolan on Social Media Today proclaiming Foursquare’s imminent death. Dolan’s discussion of Gap’s denim extravaganza with Facebook Places last week and the tool’s new bargain shopper friendly features got me thinking – why after less than three months has Facebook so easily managed to achieve what Foursquare hasn’t been able to after more than a year?
The achievement in question is the fact that users can actually use Facebook Places to get something of value – not badges, or mayorships or other funky titles, but actual value. You know, the kind that makes a difference in your checking account balance. Sure you can “check in” on Foursquare and get a few deals here and there, but Places takes it one step further, combining Facebook’s native functionality with social couponing and geolocation features to create a richer experience for users and the brands that offer deals through the platform.