Mobile social media: use of Foursquare in business context.

foursquareMobile social media presents wonderful opportunities for a business, allowing greater customization of messages/deals and creating customer engagement through gamification, shared experiences and user generated content.

Some might say that mobile social media is just like traditional one, only delivered through mobile applications. Yet there is more to the story. Mobile social media possesses two unique mobile specific characteristics: location and time sensitivity. In other words, any messages send to a user can be based on current geographical location and time. These factors are becoming incredibly important in modern marketing as they allow much better targeting. Consequently, the chances of reaching the right consumer with the right message grow dramatically.

Foursquare is the best example how a mobile social media application can make use of these characteristics. It can not only satisfy consumers through greater personalisation and relevance but also help businesses to improve their performance.

1Market research:

Traditional market research is very costly and time-consuming; not every company can afford it. Yet it is very important for companies to know who their consumers are. On Foursquare, businesses can track the number of check-ins made on at any time of the day and collect consumer demographics. More interestingly, it is also possible to see which individual consumer has been visiting most recently and regularly (reward for loyalty?).

Mobile social mediaCommunication:

Social media and mobile phones have become the most widespread communication methods, and mobile social media combines the benefits of both. It does not only allow companies to have a relevant one-to-one conversation with their user but it also can encourage user generated content. Conversations between users on Foursquare community can make a single company message go viral.

3Sales promotions:

Sales promotions can be tailored to specific customer’s wants. Foursquare allows companies to advertise different deals at different times of the day (lunch vs. happy hour deal) and help consumers find the right place with the right deal in immediate proximity. Traditionally, vouchers and coupons have been boring, but necessary measures. Foursquare, however, brings an element of fun, by turning acquisition of voucher into a game: “check-in in 3 different stores, get a free cup of coffee”.

Mobile social mediaCustomer relationships and loyalty:

Biggest secret to establishing successful customer relationships is to make them feel important and belonged. Foursquare allows users to earn ‘badges’ for different achievements as well as become a ‘mayor’ of a place, which usually leads to appealing benefits in form of free stuff and vouchers. Some companies also link their loyalty cards with Foursquare. With a promise of more points, users allow Foursquare to automatically check-in whenever the card was used. This raises awareness for the company as well as creates a more loyal consumer.

Overall mobile social media has the potential of overtaking traditional marketing as the main form of communication between a business and a consumer. Today, it is particularly important if a business wants to target Generation Z or Net Generation (customers born between 1990-2000) as these audiences are not engaging with traditional forms of media such as TV and newspapers the way their parents did.

Are we all witnesses of the fall of traditional media and the rise of a new, mobile, social era?

Content Creator: Maria kalagova ( Snob Monkey Staff member)