Foursquare 3.0

Foursquare Campaign WizardJust in time for SXSW, Foursquare has rolled out a new release of features and their focus on multi-location businesses sings to me.

For those of you managing multiple venues in your Foursquare account know well how hard it is to kick off a campaign, deploy specials and aggregate your venue’s check-ins.

Foursquare 3.0 addresses each of those needs and then some.

Benefits to Enterprises

Greg Sterling does a great job of analyzing the release, here are some of his highlights:

  • You can now initiate a campaign once and apply to any or all of your claimed venues.
  • You’ll be able to aggregate your stats across venues to see track demographics as well as campaigns analytics.
  • While not new, it’s key to note that all of this data is real-time.  So you can quickly react, deploy, correct and reward based on what you’re seeing happen.

Imagine deploying a Flash, Swarm or Friends Special across all of your sports bars during the heat of the March Madness.  Are you listening Beef ‘O’ Brady’s?

To me this brings Foursquare to the big kids table by courting the enterprise users.  A single point for management and analysis is key if you’re going to think about having large companies and their extensive reach and deep pockets.

Foursquare Analytics

Deaf Ears

Now if only Facebook and Twitter would take notice and provide an enterprise portal so I can manage over 100 online presence through a single tool.

Next Up

Is you’re listening Foursquare I’d like for your analytics and tracking to better integrate with my web analytics packages.  You don’t have to do this directly for each vendor, but at least allow me to better tag my venues with their website sibling.

This will allow me to roll up Foursquare’s role in my customer relationship and compare it to my other initiatives.

Loyalty Programs Can Now Be Social

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=19760319&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

Note: This video was shot using a Flip video MinoHD 8GB camcorder (Amazon affiliate link) and a Fat Gecko Double Knuckle Camera Mount (Amazon affiliate link). Boo-Yah!

My Flip is awesome! Though I wish I had the 3rd generation version which includes image stabilization. The Fat Gecko is wicked. Use it in or out of your car, snowboards, mountain bikes, bike helmets. I love it!


Transcription

I’ve had this video transcribed below for those who prefer to read rather than listen or watch. The transcription provided by me.

Hey everybody! Mark Regan here.

You may know that I am a big user of Foursquare. And one of the cool potentials that Foursquare has is as it’s growing into, evolving into a loyalty rewards-type, offering—expanding that empty check-in that they have today and turning it into a loyalty rewards. And they’re doing it today by businesses offerings, specials for acquiring mayorship or they’re allowing every three or four check-ins allowing access to a certain special on the menu. And that’s cool but it really is only a novelty at this point.

And what I saw today and heard about this company through Mashable called SNAP (www.SNAPForBusiness.com) takes that and does a really good integration of the offline and online event. They’ll take your traditional loyalty rewards card program and as you swipe it at the retailer they will check you in to your Foursquare account. So by connecting your loyalty rewards account to your Foursquare account. They will do an automatic check-in for you and that will obviously, then, allow you to attempt to acquire mayorships and update your friends about your status.

But what they done is that they have taken it one step further, and this is what Foursquare cant do, is that they can also do an auto-post status update for your Facebook account and do a tweet to your Twitter followers – all of that, automatically happening, is part of their loyalty reward program, which is something Foursquare cant do.

And what that does is the business gets their name out, so every time you swipe that card and allow them to do this auto-notification through your various  social networks, they are getting a lot  of brand exposure and educating all of those people and having you say that you recommend them and that you endorse them to some extent and in return for that, the customer will get points faster on the rewards system and get the return and the rewards that they’re seeking and that the business owners are looking to give.

So, tell me what you think about that. I think it is a really good play. I haven’t implemented it yet, but the concept is really cool in terms of integrating the online and offline world, and loyalty rewards, which are understood and accepted by many people would be the perfect way to do that.  So let me know what you think.

Thanks a lot! Take care!

SchneiderMike Interview

SchneiderMike is one smart guy.  I researched his work before I asked him to be a part of my Social Fresh Tampa interview series and I was impressed.  He is a guy who gets it and shares what he knows.  Can’t wait to hear him speak in a few weeks.


Your Background

SchneidermikeMark Regan: Tell me a little about your background and how you came into your current role as Director Digital Incubator at allen & gerritsen.

SchneiderMike: I started as an application developer. I built giant operational, CRM and analytics database applications for big companies in the pharmaceuticals, shopping, healthcare technology, retail and consumer packaged goods spaces. During that time I got pretty intimate with Oracle, Cognos, Business Objects and also open source technologies. Somehow

I ended up building analytics and web technology groups for a big Boston ad shop. I stayed there for four years and then left to help build the digital group for allen & gerritsen .

Stakeholders

Mark Regan: With a focus being put on location-based and local marketing recently, how do you think a stakeholder should choose where to focus?

SchneiderMike: They should consider their goals and resources first and foremost. Are they looking to acquire new customers or reward loyal customers? Are they looking for more engagement? Do they want to perform spectacle? Its hard to accomplish all three in one tactic. Focus on creatively engaging customers and then choose a platform that fits.

Location-Based

Mark Regan: Your recent blog post about Foursquare’s need for a hierarchy was dead on. How have you been able to manage multi-location businesses with such tools?

SchneiderMike: We don’t let a lack of tools stop us. We know the space is evolving and we are vocal about where we’d like to see it go. In other words, we use people hours now. The people at foursquare have made it easy for us by investing time on their end while tools are evolving.

Mark Regan: How do you think small businesses should take advantage of location-based social networks like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places? How can they gain a competitive edge with them?

SchneiderMike: First they should pay attention to all of the things that are happening to them on these networks. Becoming familiar with the content will give them an opportunity to learn who likes and does not like their product. First and foremost, listen to these people on foursquare, Yelp, Google and Facebook who are talking to them about their products and services.

Next, they should be going big with Groupon-like deals of 50% off or more to attract the attention of a very vocal early adopter set who will pass on the information. They can be creative about how many checkins it takes to unlock the deal and they can cut it off when they want to quit. That’s a good start.

Bonus Questions

Mark Regan: What is your favorite online marketing/social media toy of the day?

SchneiderMike: I really want a Go Pro Camera. Video is the thing I want to do most but seem to make the least time for lately. I’m also into using the iPad as an instrument.

Mark Regan: Any fun plans while you’re here in Tampa?

SchneiderMike: I’ll probably have a couple of beers with Manny and Johnny. Seriously though, I am planning to have dinner and drinks with the attendees of Social Fresh and get a sense for the Tampa social media scene. I’m open to ideas. I do really want to try some famous Cigar City beers.

Contact

Mark Regan: Thanks SchneiderMike! I’m excited to welcome you to Tampa on February 22nd as part of Social Fresh Tampa.  How can people find out more about you and connect with you?

SchneiderMike: The best way for people to reach me is to tweet me on twitter @schneidermike or send an email to schneidermike at a dash g dot com.

If you want to learn more about what I am thinking about, you can read my blog, Digital Before Digital at schneidermike.com although I’ve slowed down a bit on blogging while I’m writing Location-based Marketing For Dummies with Aaron Strout.

Thanks for reaching out to me Mark, I’m excited to come to Tampa.

Foursquare Captures Photos – Bad Idea?

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=18267386&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

Note: This video was shot using a Flip video MinoHD 8GB camcorder (Amazon affiliate link) and a Fat Gecko Double Knuckle Camera Mount (Amazon affiliate link). Boo-Yah!

My Flip is awesome! Though I wish I had the 3rd generation version which includes image stabilization. The Fat Gecko is wicked. Use it in or out of your car, snowboards, mountain bikes, bike helmets. I love it!


Transcription

I’ve had this video transcribed below for those who prefer to read rather than listen or watch. The transcription provided by me.

Hey everybody! It’s Mark again from Tampa where it is 32 degrees. It’s cold here.

I want to share with you a little something about Foursquare. Recently my Verizon Incredible was updated with a new version of the Foursquare app. And on that I noticed that they added a couple of new features. The biggest one was the ability to add photos to Checkin.

So last night, I was out. Had wings with a buddy of mine and stopped by the World of Beer down the street to have a beer before going home. I checked in while I was there and I thought I’ll add a photo. And so I took a picture of their monstrous cooler where they have over thousands of beers—its kind of cool, artistic photo—I added it. It was cool. Nice photo. You go into the venue now, and now you see that there’s a photo attached to it, I didn’t add any commentary but obviously you can add a little caption to in any of your photos. But what it did do for me is it made me think about what the addition of photos to the check-in mentality that is part and parcel to location-based social networking does.

The good thing about it is obvious when you think about the emptiness of the check-in. There’s really not a lot of value to them but when you can add a photo while you’re out on a restaurant of the dish that you’re enjoying of the staff at a bar and say, “Hey, let’s go to Ryan. This is Ryan, make sure he takes care of you. You tell him Mark sent you” and interiors of any kind of restaurant. “This is corner table where we love to have our Valentine’s dinner” what have you. Very cool things, tips and tricks, as they call it, very good to add that imagery, I’m sure video would be possibility to add to one day. Awkward things, but it then also so as a consumer, that’s what I think of. As an online marketing professional,

I wonder about some of the shady side of this including if you go to a restaurant and you have a bad dish, you take a photo off of your phone that isn’t in the dish and added to that, what value does that do? Not only do you have to worry about the legitimacy of the photos but the value checking in to a hotel where things aren’t right—there’s mold, there’s a cockroach—how does that help the business in a one time instance because the date of it is not as prominent.  In Foursquare at least, it is when you look at things like review sites where you can have businesses responding and stuff plus, you know, if I go and take a picture of a cockroach somewhere else and then put it in at the local Holiday Inn, you know, I am damaging a business without any repercussions to me, maybe I am doing it as a joke.

Likewise, taking pictures and posing it about it at an event or a park where you take pictures of a long line, airports, or malls, push people away and damage the business a lot more than they add any value to either the person posting the picture or the people that might view the picture. But more importantly is, like I said, as the consumer I worry—I enjoy these kind of features but as an online marketing professional I am responsible for over a hundred different businesses, I worry about privacy policy,

I worry about someone coming into one of my practices taking pictures of other patients, staff, taking pictures of personal, private records, not only break the confidence reality of the other patients, and the staff, but also put you, as a business owner at risk for regulation violations, legal violations, and the like.

I am all about all the new techniques and pushing above all for these technologies but this is one of the ones that make me nervous for some reason.

I’d be interested to see what you think. Do you see more value in there?

Or is this just something that could really be something in the long run amongst the other online marketing features?

Give me a comment below and I appreciate it. I promise I’ll respond. Take care.

Dr. Nate Interview

Social media in a conservative industry?

In this week’s interview of Online Marketing experts here in the Tampa Bay area, I had the chance to hook up with Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford (Dr. Nate), owner of Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in the Westchase area of Tampa.  He sprang onto the Tampa scene early this year with…

I’ll just let him tell the story.


Your Background

Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford Interview

Mark Regan: Tell me a little about your background and how you came into your current incarnation of optometrist and social media evangelist..

Dr. Nate: I’ve always been a little bit techy when thinking about a career, I considered basic science, but was concerned about not having enough person-to-person interaction. After considering lots of fields that would be science/tech based yet involve daily working with people, I settled on Optometry. I have been extremely happy with my choice.

I have also been interested in “social media” from the early 1990s in the form IRC, usenet, and MUDs and even without video, audio, or graphics beyond ASCII art, I was impressed with how well the internet could unite people independent of geography. I worked for AOL for awhile after college and before optometry school. Once I became a business owner, it was a no-brainer to use these tools to make connections and market my “real” skill of eye and vision care.

Foursquare Day – April 16th

Mark Regan: We came to know each other through your fame in naming April 16th (4/16) as Foursquare Day.  How has this international level of fame changed your Westchase business?  Were there any downsides?

Dr. Nate: Well, Foursquare Day was great. I basically just got lucky – I had a simple idea and ran with it. Lots of other people got excited about it and because of that I was on TV, in the paper, and mentioned in lots of blogs and websites around the world. I met lots of great folks.

People now find out about my practice via foursquare, but even more importantly it opened doors that lead to speaking appearances at national meetings and a paying gig blogging about social media and the eye care industry. The only real downside was that I basically didn’t sleep for three weeks while not cutting back on my day job. Working during the day, blogging at night. It was brutal.

Local Online Marketing

Mark Regan: With respect to local online marketing, what should more owners use to drive their business?  I’m thinking, review sites, directories, SEO, social media, location-based marketing, etc.  But you may have others.

Dr. Nate: Small business owners are busy people and they can’t simply tell “marketing” to do things. I’m not saying they have to do everything themselves, but they should educate themselves enough about social media so that they can intelligently make choices about what to do, what to delegate and what to outsource.

I think we are at the point now where every local business should have a Facebook page, even if it is updated less frequently. A blog really matters, both for the customer education and the SEO value, but it requires more time and attention. Claiming and monitoring review sites are important, but I think that the demographics of Tampa Bay are such that a business should limit the amount of time put in.

Mark Regan: I’m guessing the typical optometrist considers their market potential to be a 25-mile radius around their office.  What would you say to these folks to open their eyes beyond that limitation?

Dr. Nate: I think that the average optometrists actually thinks it is smaller than 25-mile, maybe more like 10. It is interesting, though, because I have patients that come from Gainesville, Bradenton, Sebring, etc. They come because I have special skills such as computer vision syndrome and children’s vision and they find me via the internet.

So when I talk to other eye doctors, I encourage them to think about what sets them apart and then totally own that niche. Claim that area and dominate it. For example, I want to be the THE EYE GUY to the Tampa Bay tech scene. The fact that I just got published in Mashable is huge, even though obviously most readers aren’t in my neighborhood.

Healthcare Industry

Mark Regan: Do you feel businesses in the healthcare space have a disadvantage over others due to legal issues, liability, regulations when it comes to exploiting the latest and greatest in online marketing strategies?

Dr. Nate: I do a podcast called Peripheral Vision with a friend about social media for eye care professionals. We talk about this all the time. Yes, health care does have few disadvantages. Some of these are state and federal laws that limit what can be said and what kind of information can be released.

But that isn’t really the biggest hurdle. Most health care professionals are very conservative and are used to have a lot of control over everything. Social media is new and it feels like giving up control of information and image to others. What many don’t realize is that they’ve already lost control – they just don’t know it yet – and embracing social media is a way to regain control.

Location-Based Social Networks

Mark Regan: Bonus question: What are your thoughts on location-based social networks like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places? How do you see them helping businesses?

Dr. Nate: Well, I remember when I was being interviewed a year ago and was asked what I thought was going to be big in 2010. I said location-based services, but I had no idea how white-hot it was going to get – for me personally or the the concept. However, a very small percentage of people, I think hovering around 5% use these networks.

Facebook has the opportunity to explode that number, but from a business owner perspective they’ve totally botched the roll out in a really disappointing way.

Nevertheless, I think businesses should take advantage of the LBS networks, because even if a small percentage of people use them, it gives businesses one more way generate content and interest. It remains to be seen if LBS ever becomes standard.

Contacting You

Mark Regan: Thanks Dr. Nate!  How can people find out more about how you use social media in your optometry office and connect with you?

Dr. Nate: You are totally welcome. Thanks for being a Patient Spotlight for me. I love to spread the word about social media. First, I host a regular social media chat for the Westchase Area Business Association at my office. People can find out more on the Facebook page. They can also read more on my blog, Bright Eyes News, or find me on Facebook or Twitter.