eSocial: I dream about internet marketing….and palm trees

From Foursquare To SnackSquare
April 29, 2010, 4:17 pm
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In a prSnackSquareevious post I discussed the many possibilities of utilizing Foursquare and other location-sharing social sites as effective marketing tools. Someone was obviously on the same page as me, recognizing the potential of this medium and created a new site called SnackSquare. SnackSquare, currently in Beta offers businesses a way to post coupons and deals for checking in at their store or restaurant. Currently In the city I live in, one of my favorite restaurants, Carabbas is offering coupon to it’s Mayors on Foursquare. If you show staff that you are the Mayor, you can snag a free dessert with your meal.

This is a great way not only to encourage people to check-in at your location, helping to give you free social media publicity, but it will reward those who frequent your business and are loyal to your brand. SnackSquare acts as sort of a modern day punch card. Plus offering coupons and deals can also solicit new business, someone is always more willing to try a new store or restaurant if there is a discount involved!

Again, this is not a great tool for those strictly online merchants, but favors those who have brick-and morter locations. It will be interesting to see how many more deals will be popping up on this site as more people get in sync with location-sharing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to work on becoming the Mayor of my local Carabbas and get that free dessert!


Please Don’t Rob Me
February 19, 2010, 2:53 pm
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pleaserobme.comIn my last post I really hyped up Foursquare, and how it can be beneficial for business, and I still believe it is beneficial for businesses. However, Foursquare does pose potential hazards for individual users if abused.

This week, the buzz of the Social Media World surrounded a new website, The site lists “Recently Empty Homes” and “New Opportunities.” via a feed of foursquare users who have recently left home and checked in someplace.

The site creators say that they invented the site to remind people of to be cautious about what information they release about themselves on social media sites for the world to see.

As you may remember, I indicated that I was slightly nervous about trying out foursquare for similar reasons. I realized that by “checking in” and foursquare giving a map of exactly where I was, that some crazy person out there may want to come mug me, stalk me, exc, and rightfully so because there have been reports that criminals are turning to social media to prey on their victims.

The potential dangers of revealing your location go beyond foursquare. When you use Facebook, Twitter or any other social site that allows you to post your status, you are exposing yourself these criminals, especially now that Social Media results show up in search engines.

We use our Facebook Status to tell our friends where we are going and what we are doing for the day, such as “school, work then the gym,” or  “off to Miami until Monday.” All of these status updates clearly indicate that we are not at home, making our home and ourselves an easy target. But it’s also worth mentioning that just because someone knows that you are not home, it doesn’t mean they know where your home is. It’s also possible that someone else is home, even if you are not!

I’m not saying that you should stop updating our status or using foursquare. I’m saying that you should monitor who sees your updates and information.

All of these Social Networking Sites have privacy settings so that you can manage who sees your information. You can set your Facebook Profile to private, making your profile unsearchable to search engines. You can also set what information is publicly accessible in the search engine, should you choose to be searchable. You can even choose who can and can’t search for you within Facebook, and you can make certain information hidden from select friends.

On Twitter, you can set your profile to private as well, making followers send you a request before they can see your updates. If you choose to be visible, take a look at your new followers, and if someone seems shady, you can block them.

Just remember that there are always people who will abuse technology. You don’t have to stop using social media, just be cautious of who you allow to see your information by managing your privacy settings and follower lists.  It’s not rocket science here people!

It’s Hip To Be Foursquare
February 12, 2010, 9:48 pm
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Four Corner National Monument

The Ultimate Foursquare Location

Ah Foursquare, the latest in the social media craze. As an online marketer, it’s my job to be knowledgeable about these new social sites and how they can benefit or not benefit a client. While I am semi-reluctant to broadcast my exact location (map and all) to the whole world of Facebook and Twitter, I was very reluctant to try this new tool, as I really don’t want people to know where I am every second of everyday. I have been “checking in” for the past couple weeks, initially for the sake of research, and I find that I am sort of getting addicted. The only issue I have with foursquare right now is that the blackberry app is still in beta, and therefore not as easy to use at the moment. Because I am the only person at my firm using this technology…I’d like to share a couple ways I think foursquare can be put to good use!

Foursquare has a great potential for marketing marketing/ad agencies (and of course lots of other places). I am seeing employees at agencies “checking in” at work, like I do each day (i’m the mayor of my workplace btw). Checkin in at work essentially generates free publicity for your agency, and it lets followers of the agency and the individual know that they are knowledgeable about the latest in social media trends by simply viewing their feed. I just can’t stress practice what you preach enough when it comes to the transparency associated with the internet these days. I also like that users will say, “just checked in @work with @cmb23 and @whoever….which is essentially a free #FF for your cool co-workers!

One way for businesses to leverage this technology is to use foursquare as a frequent flyer type program. For instance, reward your mayors with a free product when they reach the title. They’ll know you appreciate the free props. If they tweet that you gave them something for free for their mayor status, watch as more people check in to your business.

Perhaps after 10 check in’s at the local coffee house, the 11th check in is free, like 2010 version of the punchcard! Take this a step further, have a prize drawing at the end of each month, week, exc for those who have checked in during that time.

Or perhaps the first 25 people to check in on a given day are given 10% off their next purchase.

One downside I find with foursquare is that it cannot be used with strictly eCommerce businesses. If you are shopping at an online only merchant, you cannot check in with an address. But if a consumer is shopping at the brick and mortar location, they can “check in” and potentially drive traffic to the store’s website, promoting online conversions.