Foursquare recently announced that they were gaining 15,000 users a day. As a result, they are also nearing 1 million checkins per day. Obviously, these numbers are large but I didn’t quite realize how widespread Foursquare really was until this past weekend.
On Thursday I began a trek with my family from Lawrence, Kansas to Columbus, Georgia to visit my grandmother and other relatives.* Along the way I decided to check in on Foursquare each time we stopped. I didn’t have to create a single venue. I successfully found the gas station, fast food joint, convenience store and rest area that we stopped at. I was a little surprised by this. Foursquare does seem to be, as many are saying, the “next big thing”.
So, Foursquare is everywhere. The questions still remain: What are the benefits or Foursquare and how should companies use it? A nonprofit group used Foursquare in an interesting way to spread awareness about it’s cause. Big Love Little Hearts decided to leave a tip on Foursquare at highly-trafficked venues. The tip included a hashtag which would make the user curious and search twitter for more meaning to it. Through the hashtag search, the user would find the website explaining what was happening. This was an incredibly clever idea and seemed to work well for the organization.
Businesses are still cautious about Foursquare and would like to know more about the Return On Investment associated with it. The Starbucks experiment, giving a discount to a mayor of a Starbucks location, should open the door for more businesses to join in. Also, an impending Foursquare ROI case study by SEO.com should shed more light on the advantages the location-based social networking service could bring.
Foursquare is growing rapidly and is not showing any signs of slowing down. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more experimentation with it as a marketing tool in the coming months. Will your organization try to utilize it?
*Yes, I know, just thinking about an over 16 hour road trip with your family probably gives you a headache. If it does, you’re correct. By the time we were within an hour or two of our destination, we weren’t really speaking to each other. Our speech consisted of mostly moans and groans. I vaguely remember my sister suggesting I be shoved through the roof of the car to be used as a human periscope to check out the cause of the traffic jam we were in.