BrainTrust Query: Why I’m Done With Foursquare
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Hanifin Loyalty blog.
After over 1,100 check-ins, 39 badges earned, and over 200 friends gathered on Foursquare since 2009, I’m going to walk away for a bit. In a nutshell, my reason for moving on has to do with productivity and value.
Excitement in the early days of Foursquare was sparked by my vision that local restaurants, retailers and others would be promoting specials and offers on a constantly changing basis. At the least, I thought that the coupon book business would evaporate as these same offers were communicated digitally and in near proximity to the point of purchase. With offers scarce to be found, Foursquare simply created a de-facto trail of digital bread crumbs as I checked in during my travels from Vancouver to Miami to London. The novelty of the system had me engaged in light competition with friends for check-ins and mayorships.
Soon I became bored with check-in competition as there were no rewards to be gained, whether intrinsic or extrinsic. I realized that mayorship was rigged by routine. For instance, the only way you could become mayor at my local Panera Bread or Chili’s was if you worked there, and the chance of winning the benefit offered for mayorship, whether a free beer or a half price sandwich, was just above nil.
As the location-based application market caught up with Foursquare, I expected to see the progenitor of the category refresh itself and pioneer change. Foursquare had all the opportunity to become a hub of education and marketing support for small business in local markets, but the transformation has yet to take place.
To their credit they have recruited national chains which place offers in most locales, with Starbucks and Chili’s most visible to me. They also have announced card-linked offers with Amex, Visa and MasterCard. Still, there are not enough local merchants participating. Many have not properly taken control of their locations and fewer still use the channel to promote their wares.
Balancing time invested with value received from digital networks can be tricky.
In a previous post, I wrote that "time might be the most valuable reward in a loyalty program." My time is valuable, as is yours, and triage of my social and mobile networks based on value and productivity leaves me no choice but to leave Foursquare at rest for a while. I’ll gladly return if I learn that relevant and valuable offers are being populated in the channel.
- Why I’m Done With Foursquare – LoyaltyTruth.com
- How Do You Keep Up? – Chris Brogan
- The Most Frequent Piece Of Advice I’m Giving Lately – Christopher Penn
- The Ultimate Reward – Time or Service? – LoyaltyTruth.com
What’s the next step for location-based mobile services? Why haven’t more local merchants capitalized on location-based marketing tools?