Social media networks can be quite overwhelming, even for PR pros! I myself have a Facebook page, which I use for more for my personal life, a LinkedIn profile, which I use for my own personal career goals, a Twitter account, which is used mostly for networking with other industry professionals, and now, thanks to a former Stormette who moved to London, I also have a Skype account! Phew!
It’s important for a PR pro to know exactly what the features and benefits of each social media channel are, and how to utilise them to the best of your ability. For example, my language, photos and general content varies within each social media channel because I am communicating with different people.
One relatively new and emerging social media network is Foursquare. Until I started working in the PR industry, admittedly, I had never heard of Foursquared.
It wasn’t until, ironically, I saw Twitter friends posting about Foursquare that I gained the curiosity to check it out.
So for those of you who would like a basic rundown on Foursquare and how it works, I present to you – Foursquare101.
What is Foursquare?
Foursquare is a free social media channel that allows users to ‘check – in’ (the same way as Facebook) to places. The idea is that, like all other social media networks, you share your check-ins with your friends.
It then works similarly to a directory – you could search ‘restaurants’ in ‘Sydney’ and a list of restaurants that people have ‘checked – in’ to will appear – with your friends ‘check-ins’ appearing at the top of the list (after all, we can assume that you would have the same taste as your friends!). In addition to this, customers are able to post ‘tips’ about your business – for example ‘This place has free Wi-Fi ’ or ‘Lunch specials start at 12:30’.
Why is Foursquare beneficial to businesses?
In addition to raising general awareness of a place (a must in a world of chain stores and big-budget advertising franchises), Foursquare also provides businesses that register with free tools allowing them to post specials. For example, every 5th time you check into an Oporto store on Foursquare, you get a free meal upsize. Not only is this cost –efficient, but it also encourages customer loyalty. As well as this, the work output is minimal, as it is the users doing the majority of work, also meaning that the market potential is huge.
Is it worth the time and effort?
Yes. 10 million people worldwide are using Foursquare, and 1 million check-ins are made every day. This is a constantly expanding number, meaning that the market potential is huge. Over 500,000 businesses are registered on Foursquare, and again, this number is constantly increasing. And remember – the idea is for users to chronicle their ‘adventures’ meaning that their check-ins are permanent!
Thanks, Tash (the 10 millionth and first person to join Foursquare) and The Stormettes xxxx