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4SQ: Lost Power of the Check-In

Posted on September 6, 2010 in Social Media

The Foursquare (FSQ) phenomenon is here. Matter of fact, I was recently asked to put together a webinar based on the phenomenon, that unfortunately – no one showed up for. Yes, embarrassing, but not altogether surprising.

First, it’s important to advertise such an event as much as you can. Second, some are underestimating the power of the check-in.

Ironically, I started putting this post together in my head on the way into what I call ‘the office’ this morning. By the time I got there, I received a response from 4SQ that I have been waiting for – for months. I am finally the owner of my location.

4SQ’s response times seem to be a little slow, impeding the progress of business owners, and their ability to advertise rewards through the 4SQ system. Hopefully 4SQ responds to the increasing challenge, and works to empower owners so they can make the most of the growing followers of this popular location-based service.

Sure, it’s easy to pick on 4SQ, but what about the local business owner, restauranteur?! Why aren’t they taking advantage of the power of the check-in? I’m sure that in MOST cases, it’s NOT because they haven’t heard back from the 4SQ biz team.

These business owners are either completely unaware, or too disinterested to get involved.

So what’s the lost value of keeping track of who’s checking-in?! Well, you are missing opportunities to communicate directly with those who actually come to your restaurant, and plan on telling all of their friends they are there. That’s a valued customer! Being the owner of a location gives you the privelege to message that person, and offer specials to mayors, or those who check-in frequently.

What it comes down to, as much of a fad you might think 4SQ or any other location based service is a fly by night fad, you are missing an opportunity that is proving itself to be effective right now. Guaranteed, it will continue to grow and morph into an even bigger and better opportunity to provide more exciting, and better experience for your customers.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie September 6, 2010

    It would be nice to be rewarded for being the mayor of a location, especially one that is a popular venue. I was the mayor of Starbucks in Cuyahoga Falls before they rolled out that $1 off a Frappuccino (sp?) promotion in June and then I lost my mayorship. That’s great that Starbucks decided to create a promotion for the mayor to take part in but why not reward your top 5 or top 10 visitors? Not just the mayor. Seems kind of unfair. Eventually I won mayorship back and still hold it but I don’t get any sort of special deals when I walk in other than some of the baristas know me by name and know what I typically order. Oh and there was the one time a random stranger recognized me as the mayor and asked me in front of a barista if by being mayor you got any special deals. I simply replied “NO.”

    My view on 4SQ is that right now it’s just something to share with other people where you’re at and really nothing else. I don’t see many businesses really taking full advantage of its potential marketing power. With the miniscule number of businesses offering discounts to only the mayor of a venue it seems pretty worthless. You’re only targeting a very small number of 4SQ users. What’s the point?

    I personally see more potential in using Gowalla and Brightkite. Brightkite actually offers users the most features out of the three apps. I think 4SQ will become a bit more popular but quickly fade away. You have to admit that Foursquare has the ugliest and most unappealing user interface. It’s boring with a capital B for sure.

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