Coincidentally I noticed that I am not checking in as much as I once did, and i decided to reflect on this a little to figure out why. I came up with a simple answer, no incentive.Typically you choose to check in for one of several reasons;
- You want to let your friends know where you are.
- You are playing one of the games where you get points for check-ins.
- your own notes of what you’ve been up to
- and last but far from least, discounts and specials.
Some business are making smart offers like something free on your X visit. That offers everyone a reason to keep coming back. Chili’s offers free chips and salsa just for checking in, and they added another smart special “
Another up and comer in the LBCs that I really like is SCVNGR. They offer a series of challenges that you can do at a business. These challenges offer the business free promotion in the social media that their customers push out, but also offers the opportunity for the business to reward such interaction. While I pick on Buffalo Wild Wings above in the Foursquare example, they are one of the few taking advantage of SCVNGR in my area.
There are several other LBCs and I recommend any business list themselves on as many as they can, and offer true discounts, as this is what the customers/players are looking for. If you take care of your customers, they will tell their friends, and you will benefit. We at Head of Lettuce Media teach businesses how to integrate different types of Social media into their business as well as how to participate in the conversation around their brand. Contact us today for your Social Media needs.
For a few weeks now I have obsessed over the applications of Swarm, herd and Mob behavior and how they might apply to social media, and I believe there is something there worth striving to understand. I believe that how people behave online might follow these theories.
Swarm behaviour or Swarm Intelligence discusses how working together the group is smarter and stronger than the individual. This is demonstrated by insect swarms, where the individual insect is not intelligent, but collectively they can carry out some pretty amazing/destructive things. I believe that swarming can be one of the causes of topics trending on twitter.
In April of this year we saw a swarm with the creation of #4SQDAY. Consider only 3 weeks before 4/16/2010 no one ever thought of a “Foursquare Day” see the story here. With 4SQDAY we saw an idea’s inception that was shared with a core group via twitter, that group then then focused their attention on getting this idea “out there” and the collective bit on it. We then saw this idea grow in 3 weeks to 250 cities throwing parties in at least 35 countries. Don’t find this impressive, try planning just 10 parties in ten cities in 3 weeks.
Herd behavior discusses how individuals act in a similar pattern to those around them, much like a flock of birds. This Herd behavior can be seen in the stock market where individuals look to see how others are acting, and without thinking about it, mimic their behavior. On Twitter, herd behavior would be one probable cause of people re-tweeting trending topics, causing them to continue to trend. “It’s what everyone is doing”.
Mob behavior however discusses people being motivated to act in a fashion outside of their character, because they are swept up in the moment with others demonstrating that behavior, this is accountable for why people buy impulse items when they see others buying those items, even if they never intended to buy those items. On Twitter, mob behavior may be an explanation for people who jump on board attacking a company or brand online. Today while researching a company that I am meeting with next week I noticed that they were promoting a “big announcement”; after the announcement I noticed a quick mob joined in after the first negative remark, people jumped in on the company, and my guess is that some of those people only jumped in, because they saw others doing it.
The question now, which I hope to investigate and find out, is can behaviors such as these be artificially created, can they be focused, once focused, can they be dispersed or redirected in a new direction. I am looking for any and all ideas on this, so please chime in. If you have any examples of any of these behaviors, add them as a comment. I hope to have a follow-up to this article, including what I learn.
While there are many entertaining and social reasons to use location based checkin services like Foursquare and Gowalla, there are also some strong benefits that you might be missing out on if you are in a business that calls on others businesses, whether it is for service, deliveries or just sales calls.
I have a friend who owns a discount toner and ink company that delivers their products to many local businesses in the Trinity area. Imagine if every time she delivered, she checked in via a Location Based Checkin app. This would be like a plug for every delivery…did you know “xyz” buys from us, how about “abc”, in fact, everyday there would be reinforcement of who her customers are, and how active she is. There is an adage that “activity breads success” Well as more and more people notice on Facebook and Twitter that so many people in the area are using her services, what do you think that would do for her business? Best of all, guess what this simple campaign would cost her to run? nothing but her time. In this economically challenging time, social media is a low cost option that can deliver much better results then some traditional advertising campaigns that might cost a lot more.
As a Real Estate agent I use Foursquare to checkin to different neighborhoods when showing homes, and this message shows people that I am being active in their area. If the business you are calling on is not in Foursquare (or other app) you can enter them, then let the business owner know what you did and what it might mean to their business to be findable in this location based app. You are going to earn some respect from them for being on top of opportunities and more importantly for showing them an inexpensive way that they to can promote their business.