Posts Tagged ‘Gowalla’

Why Are Marketing and PR Professionals Using Geo-Location or Location-Based Social Media?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

foursquare2This past April, I asked if geo-location social media is the next big thing for PR? Five months later, some are still trying to figure it out. At a panel I recently moderated for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NCC) I found some in the audience were very knowledgeable and just looking for additional tips, while others wanted to know how to login.

To summarize the panel: location apps (e.g., Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt) serve as another way to enhance a consumer or stakeholder’s experience and interaction with your company, brand, or client. 

Tara Dunion, Consumer Electronics Association, looks to enhance the attendee experience at the International Consumer Electronics Show each January by creating an official location page on Foursquare and aggregating all the social media coverage on the website. (And they even plan to add additional locations for 2011). She commented that many exhibitors have multiple locations available for check-in, which also buys-into the game aspect of Foursquare.

Danielle Brigida says, The National Wildlife Federation wants to get you outside enjoying nature, so they employ Whrrl and Foursquare to help people share their experiences with others.  Whrrl works well for their needs because it allows the user to upload a picture to help tell their story.

A recent story on Mashable by Dan Klamm highlighted how universities and colleges can use location-based tools to promote the school, foster school spirit, drive revenue and promote the community. One idea included offering special badges for exploring places on campus.

However, not all location-based tools are gaining momentum. When Facebook Places premiered, Foursquare had a record number of new sign-ins because it connects with the new Facebook app. A few weeks later, few people are using Facebook Places. Dan Frommer explored the possible reasons on Business Insider, commenting, “Only 2% of My Friends Are Using Facebook Places…”

After the panel ended, I enjoyed brainstorming with others on how they might use these tools to help their organizations. How could you add geo-location social media into your PR toolbox? What questions do you have about the tools? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Location, Location, Location!

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Can Foursquare Put Your Client On The Map?
Location based social networks, like Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla are the talk of the industry. A recent #PR20chat included a discussion on how can PR people use these new social networks to help their clients? I’m focusing on Foursquare because it appeals to the kid in all us, by rewarding us with points and badges for checking-in at locations and sharing information. If you check-in at a location more than anyone else, you become the mayor.

Finding Advocates
Social media lesson one – listen to the conversation and embrace your advocates. By encouraging people to check-in often, you can identify

Flickr Image: thinkpanama

Flickr Image: thinkpanama

your top customers or visitors. Many businesses are offering rewards for becoming the “mayor” of their location. I’m guessing your client would like to find an advocate like Jared Fogle, the Subway spokesperson?

Jon Newman of The Hodges Partnership (a BurrellesLuce client) shared ideas on his blog, Jon’s PR 1.5 for encouraging customers to utilize Foursquare when they visit a business. Encouraging positive buzz about a business helps to bring in customers.

Smart Moves
I recently checked-in at a movie theater, and allowed my status to be posted on Twitter. The theater, who was monitoring for mentions of their name, saw my tweet and re-tweeted it. My tweet validated messages they were trying to exhibit, and expanded the audience beyond my Foursquare friends. I’m wondering if there will be an extra reward when I become the mayor?

Christine Ngo recently interviewed Tristan Walker of Foursquare, on Ogilvy’s Fresh Influence blog. Walker shared how some businesses, like Intel, BART, and the Brooklyn Museum are enhancing users’ experiences with tips about locations and promotional tie-ins.

Partnering with Mainstream Media
Foursquare has recently partnered with several media outlets, like Lucky and Bravo. The magazine or cable TV network rewards users with badges or medals when checking-in at locations related to their content, like fashion week, a film or a TV show. Zagat’s new Meet the Mayor series will highlight Foursquare mayors of featured locations. Wouldn’t you want to read the article about you or your friend?

Granted, Foursquare isn’t for every business, but if you rely on people visiting your business, it might be a great way to encourage more foot traffic. Retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, CVBs and other tourist spots, should not ignore this tool.

Have you checked-out Foursquare or another location based social media? How have you incorporated it into your overall communication plan? We’d love to know if any of our BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers is a Foursquare dignitary (Mayor) so please let us know!