What is it?
Some folks say it’s a mobile social network
Some folks say it’s an urban exploration app
Some folks reckon it's a location based social network that incorporates gaming elements.
What Four Square wants:
To connect people with smartphones and money with venues in which they can spend that money.
How FourSquare works
Users share their location with firends by checking in via smartphone or SMS. Users are hooked using gaming elements that reward their check in behaviours - they can win badges, social kudos and real-life discounts. Users can connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts to their FourSquare account.
Foursquare has applications for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile
FourSquare’s revenue model
FourSquare may have or will be rolling out three tiers of paid services:
- for small (local) businesses
- for retail chains
- for big marketers.
It's possible Foursquare may offer up analytics packages and deals will be sold against against impressions such as web ads, clicks such as search ads, or cost per check-in.
USING GEOLOCATION AND LOCATION-BASED SERVICES - CURRENT SITUATION
Current location-based services connect a smartphone carrier with a location. So let’s say I’m in Starbucks on Main Street, Ordinarytown, USA. I can open foursquare app on my phone, check to see if that Starbucks location has been added, if it has, I can check in.
Organisations can exploit this in several ways:
- Attract people to their location
- Get people to promote their location
Users exploit this in several ways:
- Rewarded with real-world product discounts
- digital badges
- social kudos (depends on your social circle!)
WAYS IN WHICH A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE CAN SUCCESSFULLY USE LOCATION-BASED TECHNOLOGIES
Geolocate your headquarters
Workers and volunteers can check in as they arrive – perhaps raising the profile of the particular project they’re working on ‘Just checked into NiceNtreezy.com headquarters – picking up some leaflets for our Plant a Tree campaign’
Geolocating your offices may invite guests to drop in or pop by – does your office have the facilities and staff to deal with this? Will every staff member participate? Will this be a shortlived burst of activity?
Geolocate an event
Use geolocation technology to tag an event that’s happening in your area – such as a tree planting.
You can raise awareness of an event.
You can use the technology to invite users to attend as volunteers, audience or donors.
There is a chance that someone who doesn’t have your organisation’s best interests at heart can turn up. Make sure it’s appropriate to broadcast your event to the general public - or even those you think are on your ‘safe’ list.
Attract a corporate donor who will ‘sponsor’ check-ins
A corporate donor can agree to donate a fixed amount for every check-in to your event/headquarters – usually up to a set limit.
E.G. You organise a tree planting in your local park. Create an event and ask everyone who arrives to check-in - for every check-in, a local business offers you $1.
What’s not to like about free money?
Create a treasure hunt
If you’re a large building, such as a museum or a big public space, you can create a series of locations that can be checked into by users in the form of a treasure hunt. Users who visit all locations are rewarded with what you choose.
In early days you can be successful as Brooklyn Museum and garner a lot of press coverage for your event.
Raises the profile of your venue.
Engages users in a new way.
It’s a lot of work. You need significant footfall to make this happen. Nobody might be interested.
ALTERNATIVES TO FOURSQUARE AND GOWALLA
Hearing a lot about foursquare and Gowalla? Did you know there’s a Socially-focussed alternative?
CauseWorld is a mobile application that lets you help the world while you shop! By checking in, you earn karmas from our sponsors. Donate those karmas for specific actions to improve the world. Some of the many actions in the CauseMall include donating to classrooms in need, planting a tree, providing a meal for the hungry, or helping an injured animal
WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT CAUSEWORLD?
Great idea, but needs a lot of users to really work. Should FourSquare or Gowalla become more socially minded, they’ll probably make it easier to use their services for the greater good. And because they’ve got a lot more usage, you’ll probably be able to target a lot more users.
LOADS OF USEFUL AND INSPIRATIONAL GEOLOCATION LINKS
How Non-Profits and Activists Can Leverage Location Based Services
Where are your advocates? Geolocation and your nonprofit
Nonprofits and Foursquare (or Gowalla): ideas and resources
Brooklyn Museum 4square community
Finding value in Foursquare
CauseWorld: Location-Based Cause Marketing
Harvard Schools Cause Marketers on Foursquare
A Foursquare Experiment Gone Right
Foursquare for Charities: Why Location Matters
Foursquare ‘Checkin for Charity’ Hits 135k Checkins, Raises $15k
Guest Post: How Nonprofit Groups Can Benefit from Foursquare
A Foursquare Strategy - CASE STUDY
Non-Profit Uses Foursquare to Raise Environmental Awareness
For Charity: Foursquare Looking For Leaderboard Sponsors
HOW TO: Add Your Nonprofit to Foursquare
What is Cause Marketing?
Maps, Mapping and What's possible
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