Apr 10 2010 | Dave Gibson : President | Overhead Our conservative News Channel 3 here in Burlington, Vermont ran a story on Foursquare recently which caught my eye. A solid indicator that this is reaching critical mass and going mainstream. Why does this matter? Well if you run marketing or own a travel hospitality business such as a ski, golf or spa resort or hotel you should consider adding Foursquare to your marketing toolbox. Foursquare is a mobile social media "experiment" that applies game theory to drive interaction with patrons and venues. Users "check in" when they arrive at a venue to earn points and badges (bragging rights), and in doing so (depending on settings) broadcast that to fellow Foursquarers as well as their Twitter and Facebook profiles. For venues, this is awesome exposure - 3 for 1 social bang!
As users explore venues from city to city, they get points and earn badges. Of note is the Mayor badge for most check-ins at a location. For a venue, this person is a most loyal customer... you quickly begin to see the potential.
While bars, clubs and restaurants get the majority of use - there is a great opportunity here for golf, ski, and spa resorts, inns and hotels. With the goal of spreading passive word-of-mouth exposure of your brand and venue, you can encourage customers to market for you by encouraging Foursquare participation. Offer discounts for loyal customer with more points. The Mayor of your venue should earn something special. Use signage to both promote participation and reward top (most loyal) customers. Perhaps your mayor gets a free monthly message or round of golf... believe me, they will spread the good word far and wide, and others will compete for the crown!