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Today is the last day of the Fourteen Days of Foursquare series. I’m relieved it’s over in a way – fourteen days was long! However, focusing on Foursquare has given me a lot of insights into how businesses are using this social network to recognize and reward people for visiting. I have a lot of case studies to draw from.

For online PR value – we got retweeted by Pizza Hut and Six Flags. We got noticed by PR Newswire for including them – most of the posts came as a result of press releases posted by the businesses themselves on PR Newswire. We could’ve done even better at the promotion part and could even write a press release about the series.

My favorite posts were the ones about good causes and discounts on Foursquare. Many people joined in with examples via Twitter or in the comments. My least favorite was about sports (probably thanks to having a closed mind about pro sports thanks to 4 brothers who watched them more than I could stand growing up).

Here are Four Foursquare Trends to watch:

  1. Foursquare badges go off-phone and on page.
    The idea of rewarding people for taking action can apply to more than just checking in through your iPhone. You can reward people for participating in your forum, commenting on your blog or otherwise contributing to your web site. The most visible example of this is Huffington Post. The site came out with their own set of badges to identify and recognize super users.
  2. Foursquare joins the social media marketing promotions mix.
    To enter contests, win giveaways or otherwise qualify for promotions online, many ask you to take specific actions online (thereby increasing traffic, links and exposure to their business).  They usually ask you to comment on their blog, become a fan on Facebook, tweet the offer, etc. I’m seeing more people add Foursquare check-ins to the list.
  3. Foursquare becomes another way for fans to stalk celebrities and for celebrities to capitalize on their  fame.
    Celebrities are already getting paid to check-in at sponsored events. Additionally Foursquare has made it so you can follow celebrities and get updates without the need for them to follow you back. Since celebrities really don’t want you to know exactly where they are at all times, they can use this selectively and reward check-ins at concerts and other events. You can also see what restaurants or venues celebrities favor. I’m waiting to see rock stars give a mayor deal of a free concert t-shirt or back stage passes.
  4. Foursquare as a way to crowdsource the best places to eat, visit or shop in any city.
    Thanks to talks with all 3 of the major search engines, Foursquare is poised to become part of web searches. Search results wouldn’t show individual check-ins but give you an idea of which places draw the most crowds. If you were looking for a place to eat near your hotel when traveling and one showed multiple check-ins you would probably be more likely to follow suite.

One trend I hope to see is auto check-ins – a possibility that Mark Cuban recently called on his blog.

Here’s a recap of all of the Foursquare posts – please feel free to link to any of the posts on your blog and do a trackback so we’ll know:

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