Tuesday, October 12, 2010

“The new trend of social media – Foursquare”

OR  “Let burglars know that you are not at home”

When today I was posting a tweet on my twitter account, I noticed a new feature. The idea is that you can add information about your current location. The information is shared publicly and it can be either your exact location (coordinates) or place. Of course you need to have other applications or mobile devices that support this feature.
So, I started to think that it’s actually the main idea of location- based social networking service which already has been offered by a lot of networks. The main players are Foursquare and Gowalla. Why these new location- based platforms are so appealing? How you can use them from business point of view? I tried to understand the  positive and negative aspects of Foursquare.
What is Foursquare? 
It’s a web and mobile application, that incorporates gaming elements and you can use it wherever you go.  Click here and find out what is Foursquare
The good things I found out about the Foursquare from the business point of view are:
  • It’s a perfect tool for tourist business and hospitality industry. There are many benefits you can get out from it.
  • You can see how many loyal clients you have and use the Foursquare (how many checking they have in your place) for giving them discounts. It’s the most common one.
  • If your place is hard to find, Foursquare is the right tool to help you. 
  • It helps to build loyalty. Eugene Schoen: "Speaking about Loyalty building & Location, Foursquare’s business model statement comes to mind: “Helping users connect with local business and helping local businesses connect with their best consumers”.
    • It can be a good tool for giving you the recommendations, suggestions for things to do or in contrary- places to avoid. Everything nowadays are  based on people recommendations and advices. So, that leads to the fact, Fq.  can really help to improve services offered to consumers, because services will struggle to get „higher score”. Then better  recommendations and „check-in” for your service (hotel, hairdresser’s, cinema, club etc.) you have, then more possibility, that it will attract more and more people. So it work on both sides. Better for service providers and better for consumers.
    • You can learn from consumer „bad feedbacks”.  That means that people can give their feedback about things to improve (they give general advices to you). So you get free and honest recommendations which comes directly from the consumers which are using your service.
    • You can use Fq. to connect with your friends, see where they are right now, what places they usually visit and the opposite. You can also post your „chek- ins” on your account on Twitter and Facebook.
    • From the consumer point of view, you can see the list „things to do” and explore and find a good service offer around you. You can also see the „The things to avoid” list.
    • Fq. is the right place for people who love competition and game elements. You can get badges and points based on where, when and how often you "check in." It reflects your statistics. Then higher score you have, then better for your statistics.
    • Fq. is for the „lazy travelers”, for the ones who haven’t done the homework and before  their trip, didn’t really check and plan the places they would like to visit. So, the only thing they need to do, is to open the application and see the nearest monuments, exhibitions, bars, disco clubs and choose. It’s also good for people who like to be spontaneous. The quote from the foursquare: „You can find happiness just around the corner.”
    So far it’s about good things which I found out about location- based social networking service. Now it comes the point which bother me a bit.
     The thing is that if you use this network, then actually everyone know your location, where you are, what are you doing, your hobbies, the places where they can usually find you and so on.  It makes me bother a bit.
    It’s obvious that you get a virtual value out of this network service, expecially if you have a service to offer, but on the other hand, I choose not to be so naked for the whole world. That's why I don’t have Internet on my phone. I don’t wan't that anybody can achieve me easily. On the other side, if I would have it, I’m sure I would try to use Foursquare and maybe even get in love with it.

    P.S. As I said before, the biggest competitor for Foursquare is Gowalla. If you are interesting on that, but it’s hard for you to choose, click here and decide

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