Performancing Metrics

Why Bloggers Shouldn’t Ignore Foursquare

Yes, I think it’s childish to want to earn a “virtual” award. And yes, I do worry that robbers are going to break into my house when I’m enjoying a steak in the city. But despite all this, I will risk it. Yup, I am now a Foursquare user. It’s not because I want my friends (I don’t have that many!) to track me down when I’m out on the town. Rather, it’s to help promote my blog – my brand – ME.

Foursquare and other hyper-local, mobile-connected services are evolving into the next big marketing wave, and if you’re not engaged yet, you will be soon. Close to two million people already are…and growing.

Here are the reasons why I decided to join, and why you should consider as well.

Story Ideas

I recently blogged about 5 Places to Find Blog Post Ideas. Well I’d like to introduce you to #6: Foursquare.

By learning your readers habits, you will not only have access to a gold mine of blog post ideas (and deliver what your readers want), but you will also be able to monitor trends. Insight into readers is one of the biggest hurdles that bloggers have to overcome. Without a budget for focus groups and traditional research, many of us take a leap of faith on who our audience really is. Getting your readers to friend you on Foursquare, gives you a glimpse into the products they buy, the restaurants they eat in, and how they spend a lot of their time. You don’t have to be a marketing expert or publishing pro to understand that this is valuable data.

BREAKING News

A growing number of journalists are using FourSquare to get the word out on breaking stories. This can save your life (unlikely but possible)! When Times Square was evacuated in May because of Faisal Shahzad’s faulty bomb-making skills, The Wall Street Journal “checked in” to the vicinity and warned nearby Foursquare users.

Get Readers Involved

The majority of people never take their online relationships offline. I’m not suggesting that I want random readers walking up to me at the supermarket, but there could be a time and place where it would be great to have a face-to-face interaction. Foursquare makes that possible. It’s ideal to use at industry conferences and other networking events where you are trying to connect with other bloggers and/or readers.

Also, bloggers should not underestimate the the psychological incentive of Foursquare badges. These “virtual awards” are handed out by business owners. You can always create a badge of your own when readers visit a certain place.

Twitter geolocation will continue to keep the number of people “on the grid” on the rise. Are you willing to put yourself on the radar?

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Comments

  1. Jean-Baptiste Jung ) says: 7/2/2010

    Interesting point. I never thought that Foursquare could help me promoting my blogs. However, I’m still too worried about privacy to use this service. Ah, and I don’t have a device which support it as well, lol.

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 7/2/2010

      Jean-Baptiste, you darn privacy minded Europeans! ;)

      Reply

  2. Andrew G. Rosen says: 7/2/2010

    JBJ – I kind of agree with you. I’ll probably learn my lesson when I get robbed.

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 7/2/2010

      There is more dangerous than Foursquare/Gowalla. Most people understand not to update while at home.

      But then forget to remove the geolocation from the metadata of their pictures of their newest iMac they just bought and which everyone now can see on Flickr. Together with all the other new equipment and that lovely nice Sony 3D 50″ TV.

      Reply

  3. Jeffro ) says: 7/2/2010

    Thanks for joining FourSquare and being one more person ruining my Twitter experience :P

    Reply

    • Franky Branckaute ) says: 7/2/2010

      Use a Twitter client which allows you to filter out terms and then blacklist Gowalla, Foursquare and any word you don’t want to hear about?

      Reply

  4. Riyaz ) says: 7/3/2010

    Nice post. Never occurred to me that Foursquare can be a juice to bloggers :) need to try. I know I ignored twitter in its early days and it was a big mistake!

    Reply

  5. Mark Smalley ) says: 7/5/2010

    As both a Foursquare and WordPress enthusiast, I wanted a way to be able to embed a Google Map showing my Foursquare friends locations on one of my blogs, so built a plugin to do just that, which some of you may find useful – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/gpress/

    Reply

  6. Tom Saunter ) says: 7/11/2010

    Hi Andrew,

    I’ve been having fun playing around with Foursquare lately, but I found there wasn’t an easy way to share my last check-in location with my readers. So, with a bit of work I was able to create the ‘Foursquare Map’ plugin – http://digitalcortex.net/plugins/foursquare-map. I hope it comes in handy to you and your readers.

    Yours,
    Tom

    Reply

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