In Foursquare’s earlier days, when its user base was far more limited, it made sense to reward the folks who checked into a business or venue the most. This was obvious thinking when only a relative handful of people in each Foursquare community were “playing,” but as usage of Foursquare has exploded, competition has grown more fierce among users. I would argue that by connecting mayorships to business deals you may be turning off both your customers and your employees.
Wait, I can already hear your question. “Why would our Foursquare deals for mayors alienate our employees? That makes no sense.”
Let me give you an easy example. Let’s say your pizza joint offered a deal to the Foursquare mayor, but employees of that pizza joint also liked to check in and compete with each other for the mayorship. What customer has a chance at unlocking a deal when they’re up against people checking in every day for work? And how fair is it to tell your employees they can’t “play” the game? (Heck, if Edelman employees weren’t allowed to check-in and compete against each other there would probably be a riot, so I can’t see why folks in other industries should be deprived of the same fun. And let’s not even get into early adopters of Foursquare who already have a monopoly on mayorships and who are, despite constant tweaks of Foursqaure’s check-in rules, almost impossible to unseat.)
So as Foursquare has expanded and grown more popular – they recently announced usage grew by 3400% in 2010 – the thinking around Foursquare rewards needs to be broadened. It’s time to rethink Foursquare deals as reward programs for all visitors. Offer incentives to folks who check in multiple times by claiming your business on Foursquare’s platform to offer special deals to loyal customers who check-in repeatedly. It’s a no-brainer, really, and the tools to build these reward programs are already there to be used.
Foursquare is turning into an incredibly easy-to use DIY way to implement loyalty programs so leave the quest for mayorships to the game players and offer your loyal customers the real deals. Which of course brings us to our next question, what kind of deals can you come up with for your loyal customers?
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