Essentially Foursquare and Facebook Places are both location-based apps, the former arguably the pioneers of integrating geolocation & social media. Foursquare has already claimed a small victory, with Facebook deeming the start-up good enough to mimic, however, this will bring with it a number of pro’s and cons. This blog will discuss these issues and provide a couple of ideas as to how Foursquare can weather the storm of it’s new found competition.
They’re the same:
• You can “check in”, letting friends know where you are.
• You can share photos and comments about where you have checked in.
• Businesses can claim their location adding to marketing opportunity.
• Customer loyalty can be rewarded by frequent visiting.
• You can check in using your smart phone.
Foursquare is the Mayor:
• It’s fun! The most “check ins” at the same location throughout a one month period is rewarded with a “mayorship”. This may bring no benefit to the mayor other than the kudos of his/ her peers, or if the location has been claimed by a company offering a special, the mayor could potentially get anything from a free pizza to a discount on a car.
• The iPhone app is aesthetically pleasing and very simple to use.
• Integration with both Facebook and Twitter. Facebook Places doesn’t currently share with Twitter, although many would agree the two platforms are mutually exclusive.
Facebook is better “Liked”:
• Nobody can argue that Facebook holds the trump card, with over 500m current users compared to Foursquare’s 3m+.
A 500m strong membership base is not to be ignored, but through integration and innovation, Foursquare can differentiate itself from Places and live alongside the giant, as Twitter has proven.
A couple of ideas for Foursquares Growth:
• “Foursquare Events” – It’s one thing saying where you are at that moment in time. How about telling people where you are going to be. “Hey friends, I’m going to the #MediaConference @SouthendCivicCentre on 16/10/2011”. This would allow hash-tag twitter conversations, which all lead back to your Foursquare account and ultimately increase traffic and SEO.
• “Foursquare Travel Guide” – “The Hotel Papagayo is beautiful, a real 5* service at 3* prices”, “The Zip-Lining through the Guanacaste Mountains is a must”. There are already millions of tips being shared by the network & although Foursquare (sort of) do this already, this kind of information could be amalgamated into location-based travel tips specifically for travellers.