As I am sure anyone with an iPhone is currently aware, the latest darling of the social app scene is a little location based game called FourSquare. FourSquare allows a user to “check in” to locations and through doing so you can become the ‘Mayor’ (most frequent check-in’s in a designated period) and earn ‘badges’ for completing certain combination of check-in’s.
There has been a lot of conversation around the potential use of FourSquare by local businesses but until today the only Sydney based use I had seen was a cafe that gave a free coffee to the “Mayor.” However earlier this morning I was visiting Sydney creative agency Lowe Sydney and when I went to check in I was presented with an interesting little tab in the top right corner (fig. 1)
When you select this tab you are then taken to a promotion screen for a local business (in this instance the Baroque Bistro Patisserie) and you are presented with the opportunity to earn a gift if you check in 3 times. (Fig. 2)
This is a brilliant use of location based data to target users and bring a point of difference to a business. While FourSquare doesn’t have a large enough user base to work as a reach medium, it is perfect for small businesses working to increase their repeat business. Were I in area and assuming that Baroque do reasonable food and drinks this incentive offer could very well be the differentiator in where I go to get my morning coffee, after all if their coffee is just as good as the next place why wouldn’t I go there and get a free French Macaron.
From a glance it appears that the process of implementing one of these specials is a reasonably straight forward matter of filling out an online form.
The one feature I would really love to see added to the promotion page would be a ‘tell your friends’ feature, so that even if you’re not checking in there, you could push a ‘shout’ to your friends via FourSquare/Twitter/Facebook and share the promotion with others who might find it interesting.
I personally will be paying very close attention to see what kind of traction this gains with Australian businesses.