Foursquare on the Move

There continues to be a lot of talk about Foursquare as the Next Big Social Media Thing. With about a million users, it’s still nowhere near behemoth Facebook status (400M and counting…),  but then, I remember when folks were saying that about Twitter. And Foursquare has that key early adopter audience going for it – the same folks who made all things Apple so cool.

As somebody who’s not particularly down with everybody knowing where I’m at 24/7, Foursquare doesn’t really appeal, but no matter how you feel about it, Foursquare is on the move.

Today, Starbucks launched its first big Foursquare promotion.  Starbucks Mayors everywhere now receive instant coupons for $1 off a Starbucks frappucino, just like this person.

This is by far the biggest company with the biggest reach to make use of the Foursquare platform to offer rewards and discounts to frequent visitors. In fact, what may finally lure over late adopters or naysayers like me may be the promise of gotta-have-it promotions from retailers that we just can’t get anywhere else. Foursquare has essentially taken customer rewards program to the next level. You’re not only rewarded for coming again and again… but for telling all your friends about it.

That’s some incredibly powerful – and powerfully cheap – advertising.

What do you think about Foursquare?

Penny Ohlmann Neimann

Penny Ohlmann Neimann

The Ohlmann Group has a rich history that began in Dayton, Ohio in 1949, where the agency was founded as Penny and Penny by Bob Penny and his wife Jean. In 1964, Walter Ohlmann joined the firm. Ralph Neiman came on in 1969 and the firm became Penny/Ohlmann/Neiman. In 2011, P/O/N was renamed The Ohlmann Group to better reflect the agency's ongoing evolution and collaborative nature.


  1. Personally not a fan of Foursquare for the same reason mentioned. However, social media is gearing towards geo-location for quite some time. So far 4square is the leading the pack and has gotten major companies to back them so my prediction is that we’ll see a lot more of these ‘check-ins’.

  2. davidebowman says:


    I loved what Starbucks did with Foursquare, and I am surprised that more companies have not used the platform in a similar manner. I think you will see very rapid adoption of foursquare and other location based platforms on both the business and the consumer side. It is just so easy to use, and offers so much upside for businesses. If businesses can build in a reciprocal upside to checking in, as was done in this example, consumers win as well. By sharing location, consumers are passively endorsing a business and sharing that endorsement across their network of friends. This creates social proof within groups which can ultimately influence behavior patterns. Done right this can create a powerful marketing message.

    As for privacy, the fact that you volunteer your location with a check in, as opposed to Google’s Latitude platform that just constantly shares that information to the world, means that you can divulge location at will. Thus you can manage some of the risk of people knowing where you are. Admittedly, it is not for everyone – at least not yet. 🙂

    Great post.

    Yours Truly,
    The Mayor of P/O/N

    P.S. – Nathan – Thanks for “checking in” on your visit to the blog!

  3. David – P/O/N mayors should get all the free popcorn they can eat!! And yeah, I agree on the amazing WOM that can be generated through 4square. The more I see it in action, the more I can’t imagine why a retailer *wouldn’t* have a sign up there at the counter reminding people to check in.

    Nathan – yeah, love it or hate it, it’s certainly the next big platform push. I also realize I’m at the lower end of the generational curve that still thinks about stuff like stalkers. It’s a lot less of a concern the younger folks are. You see the same generational gap in reactions to Facebook privacy changes. The thinking is that nothing on the web is private, so if you wouldn’t say it in a crowded room, don’t say it at all. And for me, that includes where I’ll be at 10am on Saturday. For the most part!

  4. Foursquare is pretty cool! Using global positionong with social networking is only the beginning. I’ll have to check it out.

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