UPDATE: I just Unlocked the SuperStar Badge on FourSquare. hooray.

JUNE 3, 2011. I was reading my favorite local food blog The Heavy Table about a new St. Paul restaurant, the Asian Deli and noticed something: 

Ever curious I clicked it and saw this: 

How cool. Now I have something saved in “the Cloud” aka some server in cyber space to remind me of a new restaurant that I’d like to try.

 

 

Forgive me if I’m not jumping for joy, but as a consumer* I’m not seeing a whole lot value in FourSquare. In 50 checkins, I’ve only found 1 or 2 specials.

How does that increase my loyalty?

* Maybe it’s because of who I am and where I go, i.e. my target market.

Today, I checked in at my son’s baseball game. No specials there, not even a bathroom. Yesterday, I checked in at a park — again no bathroom and not tips either. Last week I checked in at a public library — what a great way to promote services such as daily book rentals and free c-book downloads. But the library didn’t offer me a deal on that or even mention these great services in the tips section.

What deals have I unlocked? Mmmmmhmmm, hard to remember. Oh yes, 10% off at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Gift shop, but I didn’t use it because I was shopping at the special Art in Bloom shop across the hall and they didn’t honor it. What else….an undisclosed discount at Macy’s via Checkin for Facebook. That was too much work to figure out what it applied to, so I didn’t use that one either.

Frankly, I find Foursquare a time and data-plan waster. Maybe if I had an unlimited data plan with my smart phone, I’d think differently, but now, every time I check in, I have to remember to close out the Foursquare app.

This is not to say I don’t see the potential in location-based loyalty programs. Foursquare is a great tool to get creative with. Imagine, as a business you could speak directly to your loyal, tech savvy customers when they walked in the door. Wouldn’t you want to take the time daily or even weekly to say something about your business to them or reward them for their patronage? Foursquare doesn’t have to be just for frequent diners and club hoppers. Every organization has something to say, this is just another tool that is under utilized.

What should Foursquare do? Print a billion window decals and pass them out to small businesses — they’ve already got little Facebook logos in their windows.

At least I’m the mayor of D’Amico & Sons – Arts Cafè at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

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5 thoughts on “UPDATE: I just Unlocked the SuperStar Badge on FourSquare. hooray.

  1. Congrats Ms. D’Amico Mayor! I agree with you regarding the lack of local businesses participating on Foursquare. Perhaps it’s them not knowing how to participate in this free service? P.S. Get yourself a better plan!! (Sprint $65/mo. unlimited data).

  2. I love foursquare! I agree that more places should offer specials. Off the top of my head, I know that upon check-in at Sweeney’s in St. Paul you get a shot of Jameson. phresh spa salon on Grand – after 3 check-in’s you get 5,000 rewards points, which is the same as $5 on your account. I am the mayor of phresh and they once brought me in to talk about my use of social media – specifically foursquare. I think it is about engaging. I also have a lot of friends that use it, and it is fun to check in places with your friends (you get more points that way). I think that foursquare is greater than facebook places and just saw a great article here about it –>

    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/location-based-services-foursquare-vs-facebook-places/.

    Thanks for the post, Sara!

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