Well, I have to give Vital’s Brian DeKoning credit. He has been pushing Foursquare for some time now and I resisted. Seeing the tremendous benefits for businesses, I was convinced it would become an annoying feature of some other social media powerhouse like Facebook before hitting the mainstream. Boy was I wrong. Friday 4.16.10, (get it, 4 squared is 16) was international Foursquare Day. With a little help from a few locals, Portsmouth Foursquare Day virtually exploded.
Here is a little background on what I have learned about Foursquare, Foursquare Day, and it’s effect on businesses in Portsmouth earlier this month.
What Is Foursquare?
Foursquare is a geo-location sharing application that mobile phone users can download for free. Users “check in” by sharing their location with friends. The check-ins can post to Twitter and other social networking sites and friends compete to get the most points by checking in.
Foursquare also allows it’s users to become the “Mayor” of locations they frequent and to earn points and badges for playing. Foursquare is also a promotional tool for businesses and business owners. Business have started offering discounts to foursquare users for checking in to their location, giving potential customers an incentive for stopping in.
What is Foursquare Day?
Foursquare Day is a international grass roots effort to get businesses to take part in Foursquare by offering special promotions to people “checking-in” to their businesses location.
The entire International Foursquare Day on April 16, 2010 was conceived in March by Tampa optometrist Nate Bonilla-Warford. His idea was that since four squared equals 16, it would be great to encourage people to use Foursquare on the fourth month and 16th day of the year. The concept quickly caught on and hundreds of cities around the world celebrated Foursquare Day on April 16th.
Portsmouth Foursquare Day Goes Viral
Here in Portsmouth we were a little late in adopting the idea and promoting it in our community, but we quickly made up ground. Getting the whole community involved in hyping up the event, we started to climb in the ranks on the international Foursquare Day website. This speaks to the both the quality and quantity of tech-minded, innovative people in and around Portsmouth. We were lucky to have so many people eager to help once the idea was floated.
So how do you promote an almost unknown social media event? Social media of course! Late in the day on Monday, 4.12.10 (I told you we got a late start) Vital Design launched a Facebook Fan page. Within 24 hours we had over 100 fans, by Friday 4.16.10 we had close to 300 fans. @walterelly and the crew at MicroArts jumped in, as well as Social Media Club NH, and local newspaper The Wire. Portsmouth Foursquare Day soon had a branded twitter page @Portsmouth4Sq, an ad in The Wire, and was quickly gaining followers to help spread the word. Soon enough, the Foursquare Day craze was newsworthy!
On Thursday, just a few days after Portsmouth Foursquare Day was announced, we were listed at #3 in the world over major cities like Atlanta, Beijing and Chicago on the international Foursquare Day website. With a few wall posts, tweets, phone calls, and emails, Portsmouth, NH Foursquare Day was the number #1.
In the words of the people at Foursquare, “Foursquare on your phone gives you & your friends new ways of exploring your city. Earn points & unlock badges for discovering new things.”
Next year’s Four square day should be interesting, after all we put this years together in four days. Here is a list of some of the local business that took part in this years event:
Corks and Curds
Fa La Lo Lower prices
Fast Eddie’s Dirty Laundry
Founders Lobby Lounge
Joe’s New York Pizza
Le Club Boutique
Linda Taylor Boutique
New Hampshire Film Festival
Old Stove Bakery
Papa Wheelie’s Bike Shop
Port City Coffee Roasters
Portsmouth Gas Light Co.
Strawberry Banke Museum
Taste of Portsmouth
The Dolphin Striker
Three Graces Gallery
The Flower Kiosk
The Music Hall
The Page Restaurant & Bar
The Press Room
The Common Man
Three Graces Gallery
Tugboat Alley/Tug Alley Too
To list ongoing Foursquare promotions, businesses should visit the Facebook Fan page, become a fan, and list their promo or special offer for Foursquare users.
Remember businesses, there is no reason you can’t offer a deal to Foursquare users every day!