And Then Foursquare Entered Adulthood: Promoted Updates

Since the launch at SXSW back in 2009, Foursquare is now no longer a location-based app just for the fun of it. With more than 20 million users world wide and no less than over 2 billion check-ins every single day of the year, Foursquare has become serious business. Yesterday, Wednesday July 23rd, they announced the predicted launch of Promoted Updates.

Promoted Updates – how does it work?
Click on your “Explore” tab today and you will see retailers as well as other relevant locations nearby, depending on the category you search in.

With Promoted Updates these suggestions can from now on become paid promotions from shops, cafés etc. nearby. Giving immediate retailers the chance of reaching out to new customers with special check-in offers.

Will this mean spamming our customers?
Naturally, promoting products and retailers through the social network will have to be, as with everything else in social media, relevant to the receiver in order to be successful.  According to AdAge, Noah Weiss, Foursquare Product Manager, explains that they regard these Promoted Updates as similar to the Google search ads in the sense that only relevant promotions will be shown. Furthermore, he ensures that the Explore page will not be constantly updated with new Promoted Updates, as not all offers seem relevant all day long.  E.g. updates on check-in offers on donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts are less relevant in the evening than they are in the morning. Talking to TechCrunch, the importance of relevance is further emphasised by Foursquare’s Chief Revenue Officer, Steven Rosenblatt: “What we’re really excited about is that you have to be near a business to get an update. No matter how much someone pitches us, it has to be relevant, based on proximity and based on intent. Those are critical.”

How can you as a brand benefit from this?
Any brand with a retail store of some kind will potentially be able to benefit from this new feature if willing to prioritize it in the marketing budget. In theory. As of today, it is still being tested in certain pilot areas and with only a few brands. The vision is, however, to expand the Promoted Updates to become a worldwide location-based source of great offers. As opposed to Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, Promoted Updates from Foursquare will reach your potential customers when they are close to your shop – not while they are sitting in front of their computers at home. Today, social media users are more mobile than ever, which makes this a groundbreaking step with a huge potential. True, the update on the Facebook mobile app including Sponsored Stories could potentially cause a threat when fully integrated.

How do you predict the future of Foursquare’s new approach to their users as well as clients?

Facebook Poke vs. Snapchat: New Marketing Channels?

First we saw the uprising of Snapchat. Now Facebook introduces Facebook Poke. Two sides of the same coin, really. The apps allow the users to send each other videos, photos or message that, unlike the majority of the content producing social networks, will “self-destruct” within few seconds after being viewed. A counterbalance to the constant self-portrayal and online identity creation enabled and reinforced by social media. But how can brands tap into the success of the trend? I’ve taken a look at two cases to give you a few hints of inspiration.