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Cashing in on Checking in
Smart businesses are taking Foursquare's geo-location game to the bank.
Foursquare is quickly becoming this year's Twitter. As the number of iPhones, Blackberrys and Android phones explodes in the marketplace, more and more consumers are "checking in" with geo-location social games.
"Smartphones are essentially becoming GPS-enabled super computers. Using social media games to reach out and stay connected with customers is smart and cost effective," says Amy MacIntosh, partner at Curve Detroit Advertising, Marketing and Design.
GPS made the leap from utility to social game a year ago when startups Foursquare and Gowalla entered the category. These mobile applications allow users to share their current location with friends, find popular hotspots and highlight interesting places off the beaten path. Players score points and achievement badges for chronicling their social activities.
With Foursquare users logging more than 44 million check ins, internet titans like Facebook, Yelp and Twitter are entering the game. Geo-location is no longer something savvy business owners can ignore.
"If you manage a bar, restaurant, retailer, salon, even a conference or trade show, you must give Foursquare a second look. Used correctly, Foursquare can be a major driver of customer attraction, loyalty, activation, evangelism and profitability," says Charlie Wollborg, partner at Curve Detroit.
Smart business owners and marketers are quickly jumping on the geo-location social game bandwagon. National brands like Starbucks, Bravo TV and Tasti-D-Lite have already rolled out Foursquare promotions, but Wollborg sees real opportunity for independent and local brands.
"Foursquare's potential for driving foot traffic and impulse purchase is phenomenal. Foursquare is delivering customers in a way that the fabled 'm-commerce' or mobile phone commerce only talked about" says Wollborg.
Curve is helping companies take advantage of this booming consumer trend. Offering seminars on social media long before people figured out Facebook, Curve has been using social media to grow their own business and help their clients for years.
"Cashing In on Checking In" is Curve latest business attraction seminar. The workshop teaches business owners how to use geo-location games like Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook, Yelp, Brightkite to establish customer loyalty programs, create up-to-the-minute advertising and tap into location-based marketing.
"Cashing In on Checking In" will take place at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25th at the Automation Alley headquarters: 2675 Bellingham Drive, Troy, MI. Admission is $40. Register at curvedetroit.com/seminars.
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Here's the simple litmus test: Check in when you're doing something you WANT to do (fun, interesting, cool). Don't check in when you're doing something you HAVE to do (errands, obligations, bodily functions).
Before your next check in, ask yourself "is this worth sharing with others?"
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