Four things I like about Foursquare.

A little more than a year ago, I was just starting to figure out Twitter. And, now...I'm 100% hooked. So now that I'm just starting to use Foursquare, I can't help whether it'll be deja vu all over again. It may be too soon to tell whether my love affair will pan out, but as a new user, here are four things that I really like about Foursquare.

1. It gives you another way to connect with people, especially if you also share your Foursquare updates via Twitter and/or Facebook. Example: I go to a gym near my office. When I checked in there on Foursquare earlier this week and then posted that to my Twitter feed, the "Mayor" of the gym suddenly started following me on Twitter. And when I said I wanted to oust him as the Mayor of the BSC, we connected on Foursquare as well. I have no idea whether I'll ever meet Tommy in person, but it's fun to think that maybe we'll bump into each other at some point. (Plus the possibility of stealing the Mayorship gives me an extra incentive to go the gym a little more often.)

2. It shows you fun things to do, find and explore. Depending on who you follow on Foursquare and the places they frequent, you might learn that a restaurant will give you a free dessert if you ask about a certain entree, or that a particular retail shop has an outstanding associate - or anything else under the sun. In this way, Foursquare reminds me of a virtual scavenger hunt.

3. You earn badges for doing certain things. Full disclosure: a zillion years ago, I was a Girl Scout. Perhaps that's where my fascination with this aspect of Foursquare comes into play? Anyway, I don't know that I'll ever earn half of the badges that are out there (Crunked is not high on my list!), but it's fun to see what badges other people have "earned" as they check in at different locations and do different things. I also think that badges have some pretty interesting marketing potential: for example, if you check in at five Starbucks, you earn a Barista badge, which comes with perks - aka free coffee.

And that leads me to my fourth point: Foursquare for business.

4. Businesses can create some serious buzz when using Foursquare as a way to connect with customers. If never you've read any of my previous posts, I work in the world of multifamily marketing. One of the hot topics of discussion at the recent AIM Conference was how mobile and social media is rapidly changing the way that we as apartment marketers do business. I am very intrigued to see how the industry uses Foursquare and other similar platforms to engage with residents and prospective residents.

Are you using Foursquare personally, professionally, or both? I'd love to hear your take...and if you have any tips for a newbie, I hope you'll share.


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