A major piece of public relations is knowing who your publics are and how to reach them. What if there was a way to target these exact publics?
Social media has evolved from Facebook to Twitter, and now not only can we post our opinions and pictures but we can also tell the world where we are. The company foursquare has made this possible. Getting started is easy; just download the foursquare application onto your smart phone.
By using foursquare, users can “check in” at locations they are at. The person with the most check in days at a certain location then becomes the mayor of that location. For example, two of the current executive board members are in a heated battle to become mayor of Salem State University. As soon as they step foot on campus they both religiously check in to the Salem State University location, because not only does it matter how many times you check in but also what time you check in.
Foursquare check ins are not only for social media nerds like our executive board though, companies like Starbucks have offered “mayors” of their stores an exclusive discount on Frappucinos, which motivated users to go more often.
One of my favorite features of the website is that once you have searched the location you are heading to you can add your to-do list for that location. This can be your reminder of what you need to do while at that location and I can tell you from experience that it comes in handy. Another great feature is the tip section where you can leave tips for anyone else who may check in. For example, if you got food poisoning from the chicken salad you can leave a tip to stay away from that dish.
These location based programs are a customer based way to find out where people go and what they do while there. By using foursquare, professionals can see where their colleagues and clients are. It is also a great way to find out where the general public is. By searching locations, you can find out what venues have the most check ins.
Foursquare is just the latest in social media trends. As public relations professionals, we should understand social media’s uses. Foursquare is a great way to build your client and consumer relationship and makes it personal.
Always remember: Know what public you’re targeting and find a way to make them talk about your client.