Foursquare, the latest new and free location-based social media tool based on mobile device use that is taking off.
What is it?
Using a mobile device with GPS, it’s a way to explore a city and find people, places and things to do. The users “check-in” to their current locations and can earn rewards in doing so.
It’s got much more of a “game” approach to it than other social media tools where users can “unlock badges and discover new things” for rewards, but the interesting bit is that these things are in the real world so businesses can use it to influence behaviour and actions, turning Foursquare users into paying customers.
Is It Useful for Tourism Businesses and Destination Marketing?
You bet ya it is, well eventually anyway – once more people start to understand it, and provided it’s content continues to grow throughout New Zealand then it could become quite a powerful tool for travellers to decide what do to and where to go while visiting, plus you can incentivise your regular customers.
Here is a link to find out how businesses can use Foursquare to reward their customers with special offers and incentives. You can either “claim your venue” as the business owner if someone has already added your business on Foursquare, or you can add your venue yourself. Once you have claimed it you can monitor the stats, add special offers and award prizes etc.
This article “VisitPA uses Foursquare to it’s Full Potential” on the Project Wander blog is perhaps the first example of a Destination Marketing Organisation getting onboard with Foursquare to market it.
The limiting factor right now in New Zealand is the quality and lack of mobile internet access nationwide so it’s use is mainly in the cities….that may take some time to fix, but if your coverage is good then give it a go for your tourism business or organisation. Would be great to hear about any businesses using it already.