As a special treat for foursquare fans on 4sqDay Eve, we arranged for a special interview with Carmine Gallo, author of The Power of foursquare. We are very excited about this, not only because it is a great book, but because in it tells the origin of 4sqDay. In the interview, we cover foursquare, the foursqaure community, and the importance of foursquare for business. If you haven’t read the book, you can find out a lot more about it at check out at: www.poweroffoursquare.com
4sqDay: Foursquare has a lot of fans, but very few books about it. Most users, like myself, work in blog-sized chunks of writing. How did you get interested enough in foursquare to write an entire book about it?
Gallo: I wrote the Power of Foursquare because I’m a communications coach who enjoys telling stories, especially stories of business reinvention in the social media age. Foursquare is not a social media story. It’s a story of how businesses (large and small) around the world are sharing their brand stories with people where they are living their lives—on their smartphones.
Easier. When I started the research for the book I feared it would simply be a how-to manual. Instead, I was introduced to business owners around the world who are successfully using mobile marketing to attract, reward, and engage customers in ways that were never possible. I spoke to real estate agents, entrepreneurs, hotel and restaurant owners, life coaches, marketing directors, and many others. I talked to a guy name Joe Sorge who, in 2008, was facing a dire situation with his restaurant, AJ Bombers. He learned social media including Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, and generated more buzz for his restaurant in 18 months than his competitor had done in 10 years. He credits foursquare for 30 to 50 percent of his success. That’s a powerful story.
You clearly did a lot research for ‘”the Power of foursquare.” There are so many great case studies. Do you have any that really stand out for you?
Certainly the story of Joe Sorge, which I just mentioned. I actually interviewed fifty businesses! But the story that convinced me to write a book was The Corcoran Group, a real estate firm in New York City. Instead offering ‘specials,’ like discounts on apartments (wouldn’t that be cool?), Corcoran has populated thousands of locations around the city with tips and localized content. If you follow Corcoran Group (foursquare.com/corcoran_group), and 15,000 people do, you will get exclusive content pushed to your smartphone about locations throughout the city. It’s using foursquare as a local tour guide, right in your pocket. I find that incredibly creative. Matthew Shadbolt, the head of digital marketing for The Corcoran Group, says foursquare is a powerful marketing tool.
They are passionate and generous. Many people in the foursquare community, including yourself, gave me examples, content, information and contacts. They asked for nothing in return. They simply wanted to share their enthusiasm. That’s pretty special.
I think the term “mobile marketing” scares business owners who are struggling to understand the new digital era. Mobile tools can get complicated, which is why I like foursquare. It’s a free and easy way to join the mobile marketing revolution.
Yes. I’d like to urge all business owners who launch a foursquare campaign to train your staff! I’m still shocked at the number of companies that launch foursquare specials and fail to educate front-line employees. Of course, these same brands fail to communicate about other marketing programs as well. If you’re going to join a platform like foursquare, give it a real chance by educating your staff and teaching them to educate your customers.