BLOG: Tamara's Tech Marketing Tips

Deals Make Foursquare More Relevant

After being an early Foursquare adopter, I somewhat abandoned the app about six months ago in favor of Facebook Places.  It came down to the fact that Facebook Places was easier (faster, didn’t crash, better database) and if I was letting people know where I was, that was usually information I wanted to share only with the friends and family I am connected to on Facebook.  However, some recent news out of Foursquare made me reconsider.

First, was the rumor, now confirmed, that Foursquare will be incorporating Groupon Daily Deals.  Finding local specials and deals gives Foursquare a leg up on Facebook, at least until they expand their Facebook Deals program.  The second news bit that intrigued me was that Klout was going to incorporate Foursquare into its influence ranking.  I like to think I know a thing or two about the area where I live so I would like to get that street cred through Klout and see where their Klout Perks program leads.

So I decided to give Foursquare a second chance and I have to say, I’m impressed.  First of all, the app is much improved (along with upgrading from an iPhone 3 to an iPhone 4), it is faster, with a better UI, more comprehensive database, and much more reliable.  Second, I still like the fact that I can share with other services.  If it is personal but something I want to share with friends, I’ll post to Facebook.  Professional and public, like a networking event or conference, I’ll post to Twitter.  But best of all were the deals.  (Note: as of this writing Groupon Daily Deals are not yet incorporated in my city.)

Perhaps it was because I tried it out on a recent trip to New York City, but I was overwhelmed by the number and accessibility of the specials.  In the past, to unlock the special you had to become the Mayor or some other hard-to-achieve benchmark.  Not now, at least, not what I saw.  From the time we checked into Hotel Roger Williams, we were unlocking a boatload of deals that were compelling and meaningful.

First up, my husband and I both received a free drink in the hotel bar for checking in on Foursquare.  The next day, when checking in at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we received a free reusable tote bag when spending over $25 at the museum store (that was a given since we were traveling with our seven year old.)  Later, after checking in when we arrived at the Lion King, we received 20 percent off our souvenir purchase of $20 or more (again, of course the kid gets a t-shirt).  The next day we stopped for a quick chocolate soup dumpling at Rickshaw Dumpling Bar but alas, couldn’t take advantage of their special only because we had just eaten a full meal.  Also couldn’t take advantage of the bar special at Eataly because of the timing but it felt like everywhere we went, we were unlocking special deals.  (Ok, the staff at Peter Luger probably never even heard of Foursquare but you don’t go there for a deal, that is for sure.)

Now that I’m back in Providence I’ve gotten back in the habit of checking in using Foursquare vs. Facebook.  I haven’t been surprised by any specials yet but who knows, we’ll be in town tomorrow for dinner and Waterfire.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep my eye out for Groupon Daily Deals.

By the way, little tip for when you unlock a special: Take a screenshot of the special so when you go to redeem it you don’t have to open the app and try to find the screen while waiting in a busy checkout line.

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