Location-based services (LBS) are all the rage lately, and users are flocking to the businesses that can give them something in return. Customers are using apps to check into their favorite local spots, earn points and badges, and leave tips for their friends.
Foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite are the leaders of the pack, but there are hundreds of other niche sites that are taking advantage of the foursquare API. You can tag your location in your Instagram photos, track the beers you’re drinking with Untappd, and even find someone that wants to share a cab.
So who is using these applications anyways? Millions. Foursquare has over 1 million check-ins and 15,000 new user sign-ups every day, and on average, there are over 10 check-ins per second. They’re even partnering with big media like History Channel, Starbucks, and The Ellen Show to reward their biggest fans. You can read all about the latest on foursquare here, including its plans to seduce business owners and complicate the rules and regs in the near future.
Image: Aaron is Not Cool
Since everyone in our office uses foursquare, I did a quick poll to find out about some neat offers that local businesses in San Diego are using to entice existing or prospective customers. Most people think of restaurants and bars when they hear specials, but other establishments are creating unique deals for their loyal enthusiasts.
- Del Mar Racetrack: Mayor receives a VIP paddock tour, four clubhouse admissions, their name on the tote board and will watch a race from the Winner’s Circle. Be sure to check the official rules at Del Mar Scene. (We especially enjoy the way that Del Mar Racetrack integrates foursquare in to their entire Marketing strategy!)
- The Tipsy Crow: Mayor gets 50% off his tab anytime and if someone checks in, they receive a free select appetizer.
- Overload Skateboard Shop: Show your checked in at Overload and get 25% off any one item. Offer good only on full price items.
- Pearl Lounge: Every Checkin, YES Every Checkin. Your 1st drink at the Pearl is $1 Well Cocktail, Craft draft beer or house wine. show your phone/check in to Pearl staff. Oh so good!!!!!! Enjoy
- Chili’s Grill & Bar: Check-in @ Chili’s & get free Chips & Salsa on every check-in! Simply show your server the screen after checking-in! Chili’s servers, use coupon code #23 to redeem.
- Ritz Camera & Image: You checked in, now Cash in… Get 5 FREE 4×6 prints on us! Show this message to any associate (one time per day) use promo code #FOURSQ
- Ben and Jerry’s: While you’re in the hood, you should hit up the Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop! Check in and get 3 scoops for $3! Show that you’re mayor and and get an extra scoop on us!
While the above specials offer something the patrons would find valuable, the special below is LOL-worthy. Not only do you have to sign up for an email blast and magically find guest services, but you also have to purchase a $50 gift card in order to get the special. The icing on the cake? The reward is a measly chocolate bar! C’mon Fashion Valley Mall, I thought you were better than that.
- Fashion Valley Mall: Sign up for Fashion Valley emails online or at Guest Services, print out your confirmation email, bring to Guest Services, purchase a $50 American Express giftcard, and receive a free chocolate bar!
Love it or hate it, foursquare is a super powerful marketing tool, and not paying attention to your mayors and regulars will undoubtedly leave you in the LBS dust! Don’t oust yourself out of a rare opportunity to beat your nearby competition with a killer deal created with your customers in mind.
Here are some other foursquare resources you might find useful: