As many of you know, I'm somewhat of a "Social Media" junkie. I Facebook, Tweet, Google, YouTube and all the neat things like that. One of the things I really like to do is FourSquare. Mostly it's to compete with my wife and friends for "Mayorships" of various venues.
Image Courtesy of FourSquare
Becoming a "Mayor" means you simply patronize a business and "check in" more than anyone else who uses FourSquare. In some stores/bars/restaurants you get rewarded for check ins, or become Mayor. When I had my business, every 3 check ins got you $10 off any computer service, while showing me that you just became mayor got your a free pizza or ice cream treat from my good friends at Breadeaux Pizza.
Now, there are two sides to FourSquare -- The front end and the back end. I've just described the front end. People check in and that's about it.
Here's the backend, and where businesses get lost or confused. Many businesses out there did not set up their location and really have no clue what people are doing when they are "checking in." However, if they ever DID take ownership, they could get a demographic of their customers -- age, sex, where they are from, time of day they are checking in, etc. Many don't know how or don't care.
My other big complaint of this is that EMPLOYEES of a business check into their own work locations. Now, for me to become a "Mayor" of an establishment, it means I patronize their business more than any other customer they have that uses FourSquare. 9 times out of 10, when I PATRONIZE a business I spend money there. Many times, if I'm not the mayor, I will get other "badges" that show events of the day or trends in my check-ins.
When an employee checks in and gets the Mayorship, it devalues the location as then no other person can get any rewards for checking in, if they offer rewards, and it skews the demographics that the owner is looking at getting. If Joey the employee is the Mayor and checks in 100 times, the business is not getting any useful data from....it's CUSTOMERS.
When I had a storefront, I could control that through the backend of the program. I blocked myself, Becky and my other employees from becoming "Mayor." They could still check in, but they would never become rewarded for it.
Bottom line, if your business is on FourSquare -- USE IT!! Maximize its potential. Here are some stats from FourSquare:
30 Billion People use it.
3 BILLION check ins per day.
Over 1 MILLION businesses use the business platform part of it.
78,500 Mayors are ousted each day.
Again, it's a gripe I have and maybe I should be doing more to work with businesses about it. If your business wants in and really wants to move forward, then I'd appreciate your email or phone call. I won't do it for you, but I will put you on the right track.
Patrick Palmer - Mayor at 27 locations all over Iowa!