There is an emerging trend that local business won’t be able to ignore for too long. At the moment, all the rage with mobile devices seems to be location based services and games with Gowalla, FourSquare and Yelp being the primary platforms although Facebook is to launch its own version shortly which may comprise of an amalgamation of all three. These platforms reward users with points, prizes and badges the more they ‘check in’. I haven’t had chance to test out Yelp more yet, so I’ll exclude that from the results below.
There are a few subtle differences between the two platforms, which I’ll detail below. I’ve found that most people seem to use both Gowalla and FourSquare. At the moment, I’m leaning more towards being a Gowalla permanent user. I’ll outline a few differences with the platforms below.
|Feature / Terminology||
|Marking as Present||Check In||Check In||Check In|
|Most Frequent Visitor||Mayor||Leader||TBC|
The way in which people interact with business has changed. The entire customer service model is slowly changing and those who do not update their methods and ways will be left behind. In the US, the adoption of FourSquare and Gowalla has been picking up rapidly whereas in the UK its seen a slower adoption pace. One thing is for definite though, if you decide to provide offers to your customers/users of these services then you will drive traffic to your business and promote a better reputation with the digitalrati of the modern age.
This can provide to be key in the way in which your business is viewed. Trendy coffee bars in town centres are interested in seeing how they can use Gowalla and Foursquare to promote their business better. Promoting via one of these online services is like word-of-mouth on steroids. It’ll quickly get around the services and attract new people when they see their friends at your business.
Cafe’s in the larger cities have already started offering free coffee and a muffin for the Mayor of their location. Believe me, no one will refuse a free muffin.