Since I’m on a social network binge lately, I thought I might as well include FourSquare.com and how I use it to market my projects.
FourSquare is a location-based social network, similar to Facebook Places. When you are at a restaurant, movie, boutique, etc., you can “check in” and broadcast your location to your friends. I know, I know, the mother in me is screaming, “Why in the world would you tell the world where you are? Stalkers might come grab you! Robbers will know you’re not at home!”
I totally agree with these warnings; however, a robber could sit outside my house and watch me leave without checking FourSquare, and a stalker could definitely find out where I am using plenty of other technologies… so, as long as I use my check-ins sensibly, then I am probably not taking any undue risks.
1) Unless I am being paid to tweet for an event, I usually check-in when I am on my way out – that way I am long gone before any stalker might arrive! Haha
2) I only check-in at notable places that might interest my followers. Islands of Avdenture or the University of Florida, yes. My nephew’s basketball game, not so much.
3) I always look for discounts or specials offered by the establishment when checking in. For example, Chili’s gives free chips and salsa just for checking in. Nice! Remember, though, my check-in is free marketing for them after all, because not only is it going out to my 850+ FourSquare friends but also out to my nearly 4,000 Twitter followers.
4) Tie your FourSquare account to your Twitter account (and Facebook if you’d like).
FourSquare allows for a user to leave a tip for others at different locations. So, since my new novel Beware the Ex-Varto is set here locally in Winter Park, Florida, I have started leaving tips that tie in to scenes in the book.
For example, when a person “checks in” in somewhere on Park Ave., a tip might pop up like this:
“Since you are so close, why don’t you check out Palmano’s to see where Holiday Shakespeare likes to have her morning coffee. Read about her on Amazon.com, Beware the Ex-Varto.”
And, just like I created a separate Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest account for my book’s main character (Yeah, I really did!), Holiday Shakespeare also has her own FourSquare account and “checks in” places around town.
When I was the editor of the Central Florida Top 5 blog, I did a lot of marketing this way, and I had plenty of first-time readers let me know they found me from a FourSquare.com tip.
Do you use a location-based social network? Are you on FourSquare? If so, you can add me as a friend!