EMA Ad Guy's Blog

July 21, 2010

foursquare ad nauseum.

Filed under: Uncategorized — emaadguy @ 12:39 am

every day, another 20 blog posts and articles go up about foursquare. either you’re excited about what LBS can deliver for your clients’ brands, or you’re tired of hearing about it.

I recently ran across three assets/articles that brought a lot of clarity to where/how foursquare can be better positioned as a tool for EMA/our clients.

Where People Check-In:

By looking at how often people check into a given location, we see a measure of loyalty. Most of these are employers (work), coffee shops (habit/leisure), transit stations and fitness clubs (perceptions/habit).

Interestingly enough, the top 20 venues by repeat visitors is…wait for it…ad agencies. I computed EMAs stats for fun…

It doesn’t surprise me that CP+B, R/GA and W+K are selling digital solutions incorporating social media…they’re practicing it every day…at scale. Check out Atlanta, BTW.

Take Away:

Be it foursquare or blogging, those agencies with employees that incorporate social media into their personal lives, seem to be able to sell it better.

What the Brand/Consumer Wants:

Bring up the idea of a badge in a client meeting, and if the client is aware of foursquare, their eyes start to sparkle. Imagine that! 5,000 people running around with my logo permanently affixed to their foursquare wall! Not so fast.

Brands want this. Customers don’t. This is the old guard mentality seeping into a new media solution. Instead, we ought to give consumers what they want. Value. From the Forbes blog:

We recently polled about a hundred users of Foursquare and similar services about their check-in habits.  Badges in general were the main reason for our respondents to use the services, followed by insider tips and mayorships. But when we asked them about the role brands should play on Foursquare, fewer than half agreed that brands should offer special badges, while an overwhelming majority — 82% — want to see brands offer more deals and specials to loyal customers.

We then asked them: “What would motivate you to use location-based social networks more frequently and regularly than you currently are?” The common answer: coupons, discounts and deals.

Foursquare has actually picked up on this, and has discontinued the practice of creating branded badges for the time being.

i can’t disagree with them. i’d much rather tell the story around receiving my crunked badge (4+ bars in one night) than my barista badge (5 starbucks location check-ins). oddly, i can remember every detail of “crunked”, but can only recall 3/5 of the starbucks locations.

Take Away:

LBS is not the time or the place to pick up brand impressions, it’s a time to close. The buyer will never be closer to your client’s products than s/he is at check-in.

Why People Check in:

People check-in to celebrate events. The top 20 venue check-ins by unique visitors are airports (I’m on vacation) or stadiums (go Yankees) or tourist attractions (I’m going to Disneyland).

Take Away:

The value of the location/event is more valuable to the user than any transactional value from the location or event. These places operate on volume, and their offering is such that they’ll never need to incentivize users to talk about them. Foursquare is not a good solution for these venues.

How do I Measure Success on Foursquare?

Up until a couple of weeks ago, it was simply a numbers game. Last week your client had 10 check-ins. This week they have 15 check-ins. So it’s working. Unfortunately, we couldn’t tell for certain what it is (the standard marketing problem–which half of my marketing dollars are working). We now have access to national, aggregate data. So in addition to looking at competitors, we can see aggregate performance. e.g. we can claim what’s ours.

Take Away:

we now have better data. we can come closer to proving ROI than ever before. this social media stuff is no longer a game, it’s a way to do business.

Final Thoughts:

What are you doing to increase your social media/digital IQ?

When was the last time you played around in a new social media pool without the lifeguard on duty?

And do you feel more comfortable talking to your clients about how these solutions can work for them?


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