If you’re still wary about integrating foursquare into your marketing plan, look no further than the recent announcement that even the president is “checking in” to places now. If Obama can do it, so can your customers. With constant progress and evolution surrounding what was a scrappy start up just a few years ago, it comes as no surprise that foursquare announced yesterday yet another advancement. Now becoming more than just a location check-in program, it has added a new Event element to its check-ins.
Users have been checking in to unofficial events for a while now, but with the launch of an official platform of ”partnered events,” foursquare streamlines the previous process of having users check in to a location and then “shout” or comment about what they’re doing there. Users’ check-ins get a lot more interesting because users can check in to the venue itself or any of the events going on there. The primary players behind this new Events platform are ESPN, MovieTickets and Songkick, setting out to display thousands of check-in-able events, beginning in the arenas of music, movies and sports.
This new feature gives both users and businesses an added layer of interaction on foursquare. Users can unlock information about the events they’re attending (such as game time, teams and venue details), giving them more chances for earning discounts, coupons and even badges offered through the new events platforms. ESPN, for example, now has a new page for users checking in to specific sporting events that make users eligible to earn an “ESPN Foam Finger” badge.
For business partners there is a heightened opportunity to compete for check-ins with other locations and drive consumers to events and accompanying services. Consider the following scenario. On Friday night I check in to Fenway Park and a Red Sox game and push this check-in to my Facebook and Twitter pages, each of which shares information with my different social networks of friends. While at Fenway I might check in to a pre-game event I learned about on foursquare, orchestrated by one of the Red Sox sponsors. I then push this check-in to my other social networks as well, maybe even tweeting about the cool branded giveaways I got just for attending this pre-party! For businesses who take advantage of foursquare Events for event planning and marketing campaigns, this scenario is sure to become a reality.
If you’re reading this post and you’ve yet to do so, jump on foursquare and “claim” your business. Get in the game!
--Kathryn Robinson, New Media Intern, @katelyse