Being the mega-geek that I am, I'm more than willing to jump onto any technological geek-fest that seems like it might be fun to do or a cool way of connecting with other people. Some of them I like...some of them, not so much. But, one of the more recent ones that I am really enjoying lately is FourSquare.
FourSquare is an internet based location updater in a game-style format. Basically, it works like this...
You are going to the grocery store. As you pull up, you grab your smartphone, activate the FourSquare app, and "check-in" at your destination. This will then notify your friends on Twitter and Facebook where you are potentially allowing others that are following you to connect with you in real life at that location. As you check in at different locations, you build points (cause everyone likes to keep score) and can become a virtual "Mayor" of locations you visit more than anyone else. (I personally am the Mayor of the my home, my hair salon, a park, and about a dozen other locations.)
You can add tips on what to do at certain locations for future visitors to do and check off things other visitors have recommended you do when you visit a location. You can also win flare to put on your profile that says that you have checked in at multiple locations in one night or you have 50 check-ins at one location, etc. Kinda like collecting charms for a charm bracelet. (Anyone other than me remember those things??)
Anyways...Seems kinda silly, right??
From a marketing standpoint, this "game" is a GOLDMINE!! Businesses all over the country are keenly aware of this little techno-geek game. In fact, there is an exponentially increasing group of tech-savvy companies all over the country that are using this to their advantage.
"How??", you may ask...
THAT's how!! If I were to be going to this location and I was the Mayor of this bar, Id get a free beer! (Personally, I love free stuff!) Id be back again and again and again just because I would get a free beer. Not only that, but others would come here over and over just for a chance at becoming Mayor so they could get a free drink also.
Here is another example...this is a coffee joint that also offers live music in the evenings. And, they take this whole discount thing a step further.
In case you cant read that tiny print (and believe me, I had to blow it up to get it right) it says....
"Mayor of The Marsh Cafe? Show the barista your check-in and your drink is on the house.
Not the Mayor?? We still love you!
Check on at the The Marsh or The Marsh Cafe, show us, and we'll give you $2 off a ticket to anything we have playing that night."
So, not only do you get free stuff for being the mayor, but you get a discount merely for showing up there and checking in at that location.
There is one word for taking advantage of this "game" and using it to help market your business --- Genius!!
And, this "techno-geek" marketing is an incredible way to drive traffic directly to your business using technology that was originally designed as a social networking "game".
If you have not tried FourSquare yet...you should. It's fun. It's free. And, its a great way to connect with people all over the country and apply your voyeuristic tendencies (and if you're on Facebook or twitter, you know you sit and watch others....don't lie) in a new and fun way that might actually get you a free latte some morning.
And, who couldn't use that, right?