Foursquare at Work for Starbucks Coffee
A while back, I wrote a blog about the new(er) social media tool, called Foursquare. Foursquare is a unique location-generated social application that let’s everyone in your social media networks (even Facebook and Twitter) know exactly where you are and what you’re doing. The site motivates people to “crawl the corporate ladder” of participating companies, by rewarding the number of times the user visits their location. On your first posting from a location, you’ll unlock your “Newbie Badge” and from there, you can earn points and unlock other badges, and eventually you could become the “Mayor” of your favorite place to shop, eat, or be entertained.
Here’s an example; My friend Kevin wakes up every morning and goes to Starbucks Coffee before work. When he gets there, he opens the Foursquare App on his BlackBerry and says, “I’m at Starbucks”. The app automatically identifies his location, he confirms it, and everyone of his social media friends can see his exact location automatically. Starbucks (as an active participant with Foursquare) says, “Kevin, you’ve visited our location more than any other Foursquare user, therefore, you’re now the ‘Mayor’ of this Starbucks location.” This acknowledgement encourages Kevin to continue to go there, because he knows the Baristas, he trusts their products/services and he’s become a “special” part of that location’s success.
Now, Starbucks is jumping on board the Foursquare train even more, by offering all it’s location’s “Mayors” $1.00 off of Frappucinos, so every time Kevin goes to the Starbucks location on the way to work, he is rewarded by saving a little cash. If he saves $5/week, he’s saving $20/month and $240/year, which means Kevin is happy and will keep going back to “his” Starbucks store, all the while telling the world where he’s at.
Though the $1.00 Frap campaign is currently set to end on June 28, the competition this effort is expected to drive will likely lead them to future contest through Foursquare as well. For the consumer, $1.00 off their morning drink can feel pretty rewarding, and for Starbucks, it’s a tiny price to pay for the best kind of advertising, “word of mouth”.
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