Aside from their responsive Twitter account, I was also impressed by the company’s use of foursquareto reward the “mayor” of Marylebone station with the privilege of switching on the Christmas lights – an innovative way to recognise a loyal customer.
The explosion of social media has effects far beyond how B2Bs market. Companies everywhere struggle with the question of how to manage their B2B social media efforts and along with that, how much access they should allow their employees to social media while on the job.
If you use Foursquare on an Apple or Android smartphone, you will notice a significant update to the app this week. Version 3.0 has been released, and with it come significant changes that not only change the app experience, but also show that Foursquare is maturing in its use and positions is clearly alongside Facebook Places, the other dominant location-based service.
A guy interviews with a company. The guy doesn't get the job.
Three years later, the guy sits down in a coffee shop. He pulls out his phone, opens the Foursquare app. Scans for nearby businesses. Sees that the company is right nearby. The guy leaves a tip on Foursquare about how much the company sucks anyway.
Foursquare is the latest Big Thing in the social space, following in the footsteps of Friendster (RIP), Myspace (nearly RIP), Facebook (world’s third largest nation) and Twitter. If you’re not familiar with it, Foursquare is a mobile application that uses GPS to know where you are and allows you to “check in” at places you visit. Friends can learn from the application where you are and on the spur of the moment decide to pay you a visit. (Is it obvious that the application started with young people in New York?)
A new study out by Forrester seems to indicate that there's not enough people using location based services for marketers to bother with them right now. Although they also suggest that people should experiment with these tools as well.
Well, I also have a study (well, not a study really, just a discussion with some smart folks) that I believe shows something pretty significant:
Not long ago, I was presenting along with some folks to the senior executive team at a large division of a massive insurance company. I had the great pleasure of listening to Eileen Naughton of YouTube, when she referred to Google as the operating system for search, Facebook as the operating system for social, Twitter as the operating system for real time and YouTube as the operating system for video. I found her characterization of the services fascinating and useful.
Four the last six months, and particularly since the real push on Foursquare at SXSW in March this year, we have seen a real increase in both people using and people innovating with Foursquare. At FreshNetworks we have been using the location-based social media tool with some of our clients – most notably the CatchAChoo London-wide treasure hunt for Jimmy Choo (which ended yesterday with the Jimmy Choo trainer being caught by @tjsaul at l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon).
It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody makes predictions at the end of a year about ‘the big thing for next year’. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong. And sometimes you only really start to notice trends and change when you are in them. In social media it is becoming clearer and clearer that the big thing for 2010 is location-based tools.