Foursquare and libraries

Meet me on foursquare:
http://foursquare.com/user/sharonadoty

See my Super Mayor badge:
http://foursquare.com/user/sharonadoty/badges/4b984e07675403bb9f6d5394

And those quick links probably show better than I can say what was intended to be the original appeal – and may well still be the vast appeal of foursquare. Foursquare was intended to be a location based game with players competing for mayorships and badges – and that’s pretty cool – to have people visit your venue/company/library really often so that they can “check-in” become the mayor. I think though – that foursquare has acquired two distinct audiences with two different intentions.

The game part was aimed at youth, kind of how facebook started out.

But adults starting playing foursquare. Also like facebook.

And adults primarily wanted special offers, coupons, and tips. Check out this Whole Foods foursquare promotion:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erocknyc/4787348946/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Here’s a foursquare special offer from a library that is so well done that I personally think it appeals to all ages:
http://cecily.info/2009/10/14/foursquare-in-libraries-social-media-incentives-for-engaged-patrons/

A quick note on foursquare:  when I “check-in” letting the foursquare app tap into my exact geo-location, foursquare shows me other places nearby w/special offers or tips in my immediate vicinity. For instance, if I “check-in” at the Italian Deli just down the road from the library, foursquare lets me know that there is a special offer at the Barrington Area Library. And when I check in at either the Italian Deli or the library, users before me have left tips letting me know what I should do while I’m at this venue.

Here’s my library on foursquare. Be sure to check out:  tips that have been left by users (one tip from me, one tip from our Youth Services Department Head, and one tip from an actual patron); our special offer; and our mayor.

http://foursquare.com/venue/369449

FYI – foursquare allows you to claim and manage a venue, like I’ve done with the library and so I’ve been labeled the manager. As manager, you’ll be able to see all of the people who have checked in and you’ll see stats like what percentage of your users send their “foursquare check-in” to their facebook and twitter accounts or what time of day most people “check-in.”
Foursquare is social media, and like with all other user-generated outlets like it, you are at your user’s mercy. Sometimes there will be inappropriate postings and sometimes the comments won’t all be positive. If you view social media (think of yelp) as an opportunity to know what your audience is really thinking, then you’re in luck with foursquare!

For a little more information on some specific libraries and their experience with foursquare, check out this blog post by David Lee King:
http://www.davidleeking.com/2010/02/01/foursquare-and-libraries-definitely-something-there/

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About sharonadoty

Public Information Manager, Barrington Area Library
This entry was posted in Tips and Tools, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Foursquare and libraries

  1. Pingback: To be social, or not to be social… Foursquare and my library? | Something to Share

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