OK, so you’ve read all about Foursquare Day and you are excited to take part in the first global social media holiday. Now what? The Community Guide includes some great suggestions on spending your Foursquare Day in your neighborhood. But perhaps something is missing. Maybe you want to go all the way. Maybe you should take the next step and host a Foursquare Day swarm!
Take this simple quiz to find out if organizing a swarm is right for you:
- Do you use social media?
- Are you a social media rock-star guru expert?
- Do you know what foursquare is?
- Do you have a swarm badge?
- Do you currently have money to burn?
- Is there a swarm scheduled in your city or town?
Scoring: If you answered “yes” to question #6, then it is recommended that you attend that scheduled swarm. No need for competing swarms. If you answered “no” to question #6, then you should definitely organize a swarm! If this is the case DON’T WORRY, there is plenty of time to get things done. But don’t procrastinate. (Note: Items 1 through 5 do not count in scoring.)
If you are organizing a swarm, here are some helpful suggestions:
Ideally you would want a place that is familiar with foursquare already, because they will already know the benefits and will be much easier to work with. Look at the venues in your town and see which place is offering mayor specials and which places have a lot of check-ins already. The swarm could be held almost anywhere: a park, a museum, a club, a restaurant. Here in Tampa, we have chosen the Hyatt Regency because it is big, downtown, nice, and they reached out to us wanting to host the swarm.
Many swarms around the world are scheduled during the evening. It is a Friday and since Foursquare Day is not yet a federal holiday, many people will be working. Some communities have suggested a break swarm or lunch swarm. Reach out to your potential attendees and see what they are most interested in.
Organizing a swarm can be free or very expensive, depending on what you want to do. If you have a swarm potluck picnic, then it should cost almost nothing. When you talk with the venue, try to get a good deal. If your venue is not familiar with foursquare, you may have to do a little educating for them to realize what an amazing opportunity this is for them. The whole point is to get together and check in to tell everyone where you are. Help them understand that it is in their best interest to make you a very good offer, such as a first drink free with check in.
Utilize every network you have, online or in real life, to get the word out. Take advantage of meetup and tweetup groups. Get the word out on all the social networks that your community uses. Many communities have created Facebook pages like Machester, NH has done. Some larger communities, like Atlanta, have created stand-alone websites. While we recommend keeping the #4sqday hashtag, you may want to additionally use your own to help find each other’s tweets.
Be sure that your swarm has public WiFi available so attendees can tweet and blog easily. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a few extra laptops around to share. It seems like common sense, but you never know.
We highly recommend that you stream your swarm on ustream.tv or similar site. We will have monitors showing the live streams from all over, plus the tweet stream using the #4sqday hastag. You could easily do the same.