Over the last year, “apps” and “social media” have gotten a lot of attention. “Apps” are making smartphones more indispensible – “stickier”to use a word from Web 1.0.
And social media (Web 2.0’s driver)? While there’s a lot of hype, we’re beginning to hear that interest among some segments is waning. Dunbar’s Number has been trotted back out as rationalization for the slowed growth. (How many “friends” can you really follow?)
So, can social media be made more engaging and relevant with “stickiness”?
There are lots of folks out there trying, but the one concept that’s caught my eye for its potential “marketing legs” is location-based mobile services – such as Foursquare, Yelp, and Gowalla. Foursquare seems to be the one to watch and it’s doing some interesting things. Its site says:
foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.
Consider customer loyalty programs. You login and say you’re at a restaurant. That restaurant knows you’ve been there 10 times before and could reward you with a free dessert. No cards to keep track of and you are engaged with the brand as you know your actions get you bonuses sooner.
A brand can promote its involvement via Twitter, at checkout, or wherever it makes sense.
Part of the social aspect comes from Foursquare’s “mayor” concept. If you’re the most frequent visitor to a location, you’re crowned mayor. A bit of a game or contest that could bring people in again and again.
What about brands without a retail presence? Pepsi sponsored a NY charity event for CampInteractive: every time New Yorkers checked in from any location with Foursquare, points were tallied and Pepsi gave money. In this case, social engagement with a purpose.
Even without charitable involvement or the “mayor” concept, this is a newer form of social media that provides something tangible to the user. Consequently, in my view, a highly “sticky” idea.