Customer Magnetism Review: Foursquare.com

Customer Magnetism Review is a monthly blog feature. We review various events, websites and products that you might want to check out – or not. It’s our way of keeping you up to date on the Internet’s latest.

cm-review-cleanWho is your mayor? It might not be the person you thought. According to social media website Foursquare.com, it might be someone you work with or the guy that always seems to be at the front of the line at your favorite coffee stop. Foursquare is the latest social media networking site to take off, now boasting more than 3 million users worldwide. One of its co-founders, Dennis Crowley, was recently crowned “The New King of Social Media” by Wired Magazine.

For those unfamiliar with Foursquare, it features an ongoing competition among users logging in to the social media site every time they frequent a specific location. The more times you check in on Foursquare for each location you visit, the more points and badges you receive. Participants can check in on their cell phones every time they go to various places, like restaurants, airports, hotels, concerts and apartment complexes. Some businesses give out special coupons or rewards to those reaching a milestone, such as mayor. The mayor has more check-ins than anyone else at that location.

Some people use Foursquare to catch up with their friends, to leave tips about the places they frequent or to give out insider information. Others are in it for the competitive aura of beating out someone they know as mayor or to achieve status of certain hard-to-find badges.

Many businesses like to participate in Foursquare as an Internet marketing tool. Users will make recommendations to each other about menu items or parking places, and the businesses are only to happy to have the extra advertising.

One obvious drawback to using the site is the disclosure of your location. For those who have privacy issues or are concerned about being followed or stalked, posting check-ins on the Internet about where you are is not the way to go. Announcing when you are not at home might also be a deterrent for some to play the game.

But that doesn’t seem to bother the users of location-based social media sites. Foursquare reports having 1 million users “check in” per day, with more than 15,000 venues experimenting with special offers through the site.

The next time you hear someone talking about becoming mayor, think twice. They might be talking about Foursquare.

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