Foursquare is the latest social networking craze that will soon be as big as MySpace, Twitter and Facebook (FB is launching its own version soon). Foursquare isn’t another social network per se. It’s a location-based social network using the GPS system off your mobile devices. Once you download the application to your phone, you “check-in” wherever you go in real life and acquire points and badges at each location. You can check-in everywhere you go from getting gas, restaurants, post office, Home Depot, church, etc.
You acquire friends and see where they go and hang out. If you go to a location more than anyone else, you become “mayor.” Businesses are now giving mayors power to issue coupons for their location as well as ANYONE who checks in using Foursquare. It’s a pretty addictive application.
But how do bands benefit with Foursquare? Here are 5 ways:
Your Fans Will Never Miss Your Shows
Your fans can no longer say “I would’ve went to their show if I knew about it.” Let’s face it – Promoters are a dime-a-dozen and most are horrible at their jobs. They’ll post a MySpace or Facebook message and that’s the extent of their “promoting.” And you end up paying this person 15% of the door (or your booking agent).
With Foursquare, as soon as you check-in at the venue, all your friends get an instant message on their phones. You can also attach a “shout” where you can announce when doors open and your set times. Foursquare also integrates with Facebook so your check-in location will be automatically updated on Facebook.
By using MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, you pretty much ensure that your diehard fans (the ones that actually buy tickets and merch) will know about your show. Hell, you might as well get rid of the middlemen and promote the show yourself and/or fire your booking agent:)
Meet Fans at Record Stores
The day or week of your CD release, why not meet up with fans at various locations around town that carry your CD and sign the CDs after they buy them. As soon as Foursquare checks you in at the store location, send out a shout to let your fans know how long you will be there. Do this to 3 or 4 stores in different areas of your city. This will help fan interaction and album sales. If it’s an independent store, you might be able to attach a special or coupon to your Foursquare message for the time that you are there.
You can also make shouts without checking into a place. Let your fans know anything you want at anytime, directly to their phones.
Get Free Food
This will work great during this recession. Restaurants are hurting and need customers. Bands are always hungry and tired of eating ramen noodles. Team up with a restaurant and tell the manager that if you bring “x” number of people to the restaurant, in exchange, you get discounted or free food.
With Foursquare, you can also have the mayor of that location announce a discount to everyone that has checked into that location in the past to get the word out to people you don’t even know.
Giving away 5 meals to a band that brings 10 to 20 people isn’t much to a restaurant.
Fans Will No Longer Get Lost Going to Your Events
Because you need GPS to use Foursquare, every event you check-in to comes with built-in directions. Fans won’t get lost going to the venue, your in-store signing or random house party you throw. They will find you.
Sell Merch on Your Days off on Tour
Do you have 2 or 3 days off in a row and wish you didn’t? Chances are that you have fans in the towns your passing or spending the night in that want to buy your merch and meet you. Check-in at a location in that city and let your Foursquare friends know you are in town and want to hang out with them. Also, let them know you have merch for sale too!
Foursquare is still pretty new with only 1.2 million users. But by registering now, you are ahead of the game and will undoubtedly find other uses for Foursquare. It’s a free service that can literally make you a lot more money with ticket sales, merch sales and fan interaction. The trick will be to build up your Foursquare friends list but it won’t be hard. This baby is about to explode in popularity!
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