The Politics of Social Media: Being Elected Mayor of Starbucks!

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The Politics of Social Media: Being Elected Mayor of Starbucks!

By Janette Leon-Speyer, Web Success Team

When I was growing up I did not play Pac Man and I am far from being part of the “D” generation. However, working at Web Success Team has enabled me to discover all the sharing and social media platforms and among them is Foursquare.

I discovered Foursquare, last year. My colleague, Marci Rosenblum shared the link and asked me to try it out. I immediately signed up and linked it to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I played around, added my Web Success Team as a location and forgot about it and got on with my busy life. Little did I know, I was becoming hooked on Foursquare.

What Is Foursquare?

In a nutshell, Foursquare is a web and mobile application that allows registered users to connect with friends and update their location. Users can choose to have their Twitter and/or Facebook accounts updated when they check in. With an iPhone app, users can enable a push-notification to friend updates. If a user has checked in to a location more often than anyone else, on separate days, they can be crowned “Mayor” of that venue if they have a photo profile. You can be dethroned by another checking in more often than you.

The effectiveness of Foursquare is that it is a great way to broadcast your brick and mortar location, increase sales and gain loyal followers. Mayors can receive discounts for their patronage and promotion. Foursquare awards users with Badges for frequency of use and reaching certain milestones. They are little rewards and reinforce usage and brand loyalty, much like the Olympic pin collectors. Presently there are over 500,000 users and growing.

Let the Games Begin

However, when I purchased an iPhone last year to participate in business Tweet-ups, I found myself using Foursquare more and more to check into various venues and places that I patronized. I would use the tips and recommendations to make educated choices for things such as food, workouts and movies theaters. I travel a fair amount and this proved to be very helpful.

I was now unlocking badges and becoming the MAYOR of places that I visited. One of those places was Starbucks. I am a green tea junkie and I check into my local Starbucks every day and of course I am the mayor.

Ouch Someone Beat Me!

I was suddenly bumped off the mayorial list by another foursquare user. Needless to mention this was an unpleasant surprise. As the mayor of a local Starbucks you do get discounts and coupons. I was determined to get my title back and I checked-in twice in one day. You know by now what this means. Yes, I did buy another drink! Soon I was re-elected Mayor of my local Starbucks in Calabasas, California.

Whoa, You Said Branding!

This is a simple example of how a single fan can become an evangelist for your products or brand. Not only am I an evangelist for @Starbucks, I also spend around $3.55 a day and have been doing this 7 days a week for the past 10 years. I know all my barristas, they know my drink and I am also writing this blog. As a company think of the promotional possibilities. It’s yet another way to let your friends and followers know your activities and share your experience and opinions.

Companies are using Foursquare to acquire new customers and retain current ones. One chocolate shop, of example, offered a buy one get one free to the first 60 customers on a certain day. Over 200 Foursquarers showed up at really no cost to the retailer. Running a similar ad in a newspaper would be too cost prohibitive and not nearly as effective. That’s the beauty of social sharing.

Grow Your Business Online: These tips are meant to be used as a guideline to improve traffic to your site, increase your conversion rates, help turn visitors into buyers, and keep you ahead of the competition. Turning to a web marketer can ultimately save you time and money and increase your success online. The Web Success Team has many proven marketing strategies and techniques. The Team would be happy to discuss your web marketing needs with a complimentary consultation and web marketing assessment of your current site. Simply mention this article when contacting or call 818-222-5643 for an appointment. Please visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for more information. To your web success!

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