FourSquare for Mayor

Most of the social media advisory work I get involved in is related to the B2B space, helping companies that only ever sell to other companies. I realise that a lot of the noise in social media has been around brands reaching consumers, like Coke or Pepsi using social media instead of traditional ad campaigns, but my own experience of working closely with B2B firms for years has helped me find a niche in the market.

But the people I talk to are still wary of the online environment. I was in a client meeting yesterday where I actively had to sell the need to be talking to influencers through the Internet. And that’s not unusual. There is still a persistence that the online community does not relate in any way to many business people, and I’m not sure if it is just a generational change because there are people younger than me that still believe the only way to do business is over lunch.
But if you are going to go somewhere for lunch then should you also become mayor of the establishment where you are eating? I was at an event last week in central London and one national technology journalist asked another high-profile techie: “So are you going to become mayor of this place first, or am I?”
Of course, they were referring to FourSquare
The official blurb on foursquare says: “Foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.”
And it’s growing fast, up to 600,000 users now and recently growing at 10,000 new users each day. Users check-in when they visit a place (could be a bar, restaurant, shop) and there have been over 22m checkins so far – on a site that is less than a year old.
It’s one more community that will be a hard sell to the B2B community, but the opportunities for venues to create virtual venues, with online information, interactivity, and reviews is enormous, because this community blends the virtual with the real in a way that Second Life never did.

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