Compete Blog: I’m the Mayor! So What?
Commentary by Karen Costa, Online Marketing Specialist, Compete
Through a special
arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article
from the Compete Blog. Compete Inc. is a web analytics
company that focuses on understanding how consumers use the internet.
on Foursquare, Gowalla or any other check-in services? I use Foursquare and
like many of my friends, I’m beginning to wonder, "What’s
the point?" So far, they’re great in theory, but not in practice.
boasts that you’ll "find inspiration to explore the world
around you while picking up rewards from local eateries, venues, and retail
Foursquare says that it’s "a mobile application that makes cities
easier to use and more interesting to explore. It is a friend-finder, a social
city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards
them for doing so."
Instead of the original intent of rewards and explorations
of new venues, what I usually find is random non-businesses, like "My
Couch" or "Goldie
Lock’s Castle" (true venues within check-in distance from my apartment)
and a mayorship that boasts no rewards other than a badge and proverbial pat
on the back.
I’m an active Twitter persona (for my personal account and also
oversee the social media for Compete and am the former social media person
behind Bliss Spa) and have somehow accumulated about 25,000 random updates
about nothing on my personal account alone. But where could I possibly check-in
that people would care? Justin Beiber’s house?
Although Foursquare and Gowalla
are best used on mobile devices, their web traffic is seeing a steady decline.
the obvious questions and thoughts arise:
- Who cares when I’m grocery shopping at my Whole Foods?
- Why do people need to know that I’m shopping at the mall?
- I don’t want people to know that this is my third trip to 7-11 today.
Hostess cupcakes, coffee, diet coke does not a nutritious diet make, but
that is my dirty little secret.
- What’s the point of being mayor if there’s nothing in it for
me or my friends?
Badges are cute and nice (I have 20+), but they have a very flare-like feel
a la Office Space.
Mayorships are generally useless. I fear the day that I’m
out and the new pickup line is, "Hey, baby, can I buy you a discounted
drink? I’m the mayor here." I may have to flee the country and abandon
all social media if that happens.
Most businesses haven’t figured that last
piece of the puzzle out and with so many websites promoting deals and exclusive
offers, how many more offers can a business provide to customers before damaging
Discussion Questions: Are check-in services such as Foursquare and Gowalla
providing enough value to attract consumers? How else besides discounts can
retailers reward customer check-ins?