Despite being described as “the best tool to aid stalking since Facebook,” location-based social media platform Foursquare will prove a massive boon to online marketing companies, one expert has suggested.
Judith Lewis, head of search at media consultancy Beyond, told readers of Marketing Week that in fact Foursquare is the “king of social media marketing.”
After downloading the application, iPhone or other smartphone users can to be located using the phone’s own GPS system. Foursquare then gives them local locations of possible interest and the option to “check in”. Security concerns have been raised because this can be broadcast on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which could give stalkers and other criminals valuable personal information as to a burglary or stalking victim’s whereabouts. However, Foursquare does make available the option to prevent this, so it is up to the user to stay secure while using the app.
Many businesses have already seen its vast potential as an online marketing tool, Ms Lewis pointed out. Famous brands such as Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza, Pho, Hummos Bros, The Breakfast Club, Evans Cycles and many others have added their businesses to the network in order to ensure that their nearest branch is always pointed out to Foursquare users.
But they also use it to do more than that. Ms Evans stressed that such companies have“realised that the future of interaction in “real life” is becoming firmly based within the digital world.”
“For these and other businesses, Foursquare has become a valuable way of interacting with, and rewarding, regulars,” she pointed out.
“While one of the most difficult things to measure is how much online marketing drives purchasers to offline shops, Foursquare is one tool a marketer can use to help measure, as well as engage with, this customer.”
With its seamless integration of online and offline behaviour and the growing popularity of smartphones, Ms Lewis concluded that Foursquare “is set to be the new dominant force.”