Foursqaure World

I recently had a Mashable.com article show-up in my Google alerts about 5 Ways Foursquare is Changing the World.  Since I have been toying around with Foursquare, it obviously peaked my interest quite a bit.  To my surprise, the writer, Jennifer Van Grove, mentioned Pizza Fusion as one example of how to harness the power of this seemingly campy phone app by "rewarding" people for being a loyal fan.

Special mayor-only rewards are cropping up everywhere Foursquare is played (which is now nearly everywhere) and they’re creating customer loyalty battles that are good for regulars and great for businesses. In fact, Foursquare provides these businesses with a way to reward mayors with special promotions (like the one seen above) to further the customer loyalty battles. Ultimately Foursquare has found a way to make being a regular at your favorite pizza joint mean something tangible. (read full article)

For those of you who are still a bit unfamiliar with Foursqaure, it's a new social media platform that basically (in my opinion) is an awkward mash-up of Yelp, Facebook and some high-school game.  You create a user profile, "check-in" at your favorite hot spots and basically get points.  Up until recently it was merely that... a game with bragging rights by unlocking badges and accumulating the most points for going to the most places.  Well recently, businesses, like Pizza Fusion, have found ways to add value from the B2C perspective and reward customers for "First Visits" and becoming "Mayor" of a Pizza Fusion location.

It's also taking friend networks to a whole new level. It can notify you and/or your friends when you've "checked in" to a place.  If you're a block away, it makes for a great tool to connect with whoever is in the area.  And on the other hand, if you're about to check into your favorite bar or club, you can see who else is there already, just in case the Ex is in there with her new boyfriend.

Here to stay or quick fad... I think we haven't even begun to hear about Foursquare's impact yet.  I don't think it has the gusto to replace Yelp, but keep your eye on this one.