I have used Foursquare for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes on an experimental basis somewhat intermittently, and I believe it has credible value for local SEO, but I am not a regular user.
THAT'S ABOUT TO CHANGE!
I recently attended a child's birthday party with my daughter at Chuck E. Cheese's and we were the first to arrive. I gave my daughter a couple of bucks for game tokens to keep her busy until the other kids arrived, and while I waited I checked in on Foursquare just to be doing something. When I checked in a message popped up on my phone saying I was entitled to free game tokens, all I had to do was to show my check-in to the attendant.
IT WAS THE 1ST FREEBIE I'D GOTTEN FROM FOURSQUARE!
I was pretty excited considering it was just a handful of game tokens! As I waited to speak to the attendant my daughter walked up and was curious as to what I was doing, so I showed her the screen on my phone and told her we were getting free tokens and her eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning ... she thought that was AWESOME! She and I had both discovered how good it felt to receive something of value ... for free ... just because we used social media!
It was right about that time (a day or so later) that I was checking my Klout score and saw that because of my score I was entitled to a "Klout Perk" ... free samples of Lipton "Tea & Honey" iced tea mix. I had qualified for perks before, b ut this was the first one I thought I would actually use. I filled out the short form, clicked send, and forgot about it.
Yesterday a fairly large package arrived in the mail and I wondered "what the heck is that?" It was my tea! I had expected that if I got anything at all it would be a single sample packet, but, I was wrong. Lipton sent 10 packets of tea and each packet had a coupon for 50 cents off the purchase of a regular sized container of the product.
NOW MY EYES LIT UP LIKE CHRISTMAS MORNING!
It's summer time in Florida, and my family loves tea! Again, social media had provided something useful and valuable just for being a participant! I quickly made a glass for each member of my family to check it out. The flavor was mango/pineapple and I thought it was pretty good ... my wife and daughter thought it was ...
THE NECTAR OF THE GODS!!!
I might have enjoyed the sample and gone right back to drinking regular unsweetened tea, but my family loved this stuff! They were practically doing back flips they loved it so much. I shared a few packets with my neighbor and the reaction was much the same in his household as well. I can guarantee their will be Lipton Honey & Tea in our homes for the duration of the summer, and we may well be drinking the stuff for years!
It has been said that no single word has sold more goods and services than the word ...
Now I know what they mean! As I have reflected on this it occurs to me that this is the cutting edge of social media marketing, a blend of new ways of getting the message across combined with the more traditional techniques of discounts/coupons. I can attest that from the consumer's end it leaves one with a pretty good feeling about the product, and the merchant offering it!