Media brands making progress on Foursquare

26 August 2010

NEW YORK: Bravo, MTV and the History Channel are among the media brands making the most effective use of Foursquare, the location-based mobile service.

Mashable, the industry title, recently assessed which operators in this sector have successfully employed this emerging medium, typically associated with FMCG and retail, as a communications tool.

Bravo, the broadcaster, was one of the first companies in its category to forge a partnership with Foursquare, and has since signed up 50,000 fans via this platform.

In a bid to engage consumers, Bravo asked well-known faces and the hosts of its shows to make recommendations, in a way that reflects their own personalities and the programmes they represent.

As this output moved beyond simply focusing on content, to encompass shopping venues, hotels and restaurants, the station has reinforced its position as a "network of culture experts".

"Fans don't follow for Bravo per se; they're following to see where Top Chefs and Millionaire Matchmakers spend their time in New York and LA," Mashable's study said.

Zagat, the restaurant review specialist, has been publishing in print for over 30 years, but Mashable suggested it was a "brand made for Foursquare."

Providing comments from culinary enthusiasts across the US via Foursquare is seen as in keeping with Zagat's overall purpose.

The social media presence also gives the firm access to diners who may not be interested in buying its guides in print form.

Elsewhere, actors from high-profile MTV series like Jersey Shore, The Hills and The Real World were tapped by the channel to discuss their recent activities, and resulting recommendations.

This "celebrity sway" has proved a draw to the public on other social media operations such as Twitter, and appears to be an equally useful means of attracting attention on Foursquare.

New York Magazine leverages Foursquare to deliver the latest details concerning what's on in the Big Apple, alongside a link back to its webpage for in-depth coverage of these events.

"In this regard, New York Magazine's approach to Foursquare is akin to the Twitter strategy of many publishers, with the added value of location," Mashable said.

Another media brand, The History Channel, has also demonstrated how brands that do not possess an obvious method of utilising geo-location mobile service are able to connect with a wide target audience.

If offers facts and figures about various sites which consumers can visit, and while this seems to be little more than "trivia", such "indirect marketing" has secured it 47,000 Foursquare followers to date.

Data sourced from Mashable; additional content by Warc staff