Even if you haven't tried Foursquare, you gotta admit, vanilla honey cupcakes in sunny Corpus Christi, TX, sound good.
The coastal city in southeast Texas is one of 14 municipalities that have officially declared Saturday to be "Foursquare Day." And they are all holding fun-oriented activities in the vein of Corpus Christi's cupcakes - which will include an image of Foursquare's "Swarm Badge" - to attract crowds and to see if their citizens cotton to the geo-social service.
"There are more than 500 events going on around the world," a spokesperson for the New York-based Foursquare told ClickZ.
One year ago, Foursquare was simply trying to get to the one-million-user mark. Now it has topped 8 million users and is being embraced by "mayors" - and real, publicly elected mayors at that.
Earlier today, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced on Twitter that his metropolis would recognize April 16 as "Foursquare Day." And according to a tweet by Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, Bloomberg stopped by the geo-social company's facilities for 40 minutes this morning to chat about business.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is also getting into the act of promoting Foursquare as a marketing platform for mom-and-pop businesses. He'll name one of his citizens "Foursquare Mayor of Tampa" on Saturday. Whoever gets the honor should probably expect to see a donations promotion from Buckhorn or his political party on Foursquare during the next election cycle.
Indeed, while some industry watchers have focused on retailers' recent Foursquare successes, the platform probably hasn't even scratched the surface as a marketing tool for politicians. The same could be said for Facebook Places, as well as other geo-social platforms like Gowalla, Whrrl, and Loopt.
Meanwhile, many "Foursquare Day" organizers around the country also want to raise money for charities. Here are some of their planned activities:
Lastly, the origin behind "Foursquare Day": It was coined last year by Tampa, FL-based optometrist Nate Bonilla-Warford. He came up with idea after thinking about a calculation, 4^2 = 16. And because 4 squared equals 16, Bonilla-Warford created the concept of checking in via Foursquare on the fourth month and 16th day of the year - April 16.
In prepared remarks, Bonilla-Warford talked about his marketing-based motivations. "As a small business owner in the current economic climate, I am always seeking ways to trim expenses and create more meaningful relationships with my patients,” he said. “As an avid foursquare user, I quickly realized that the service could do both: provide free word of mouth advertising and provide an experience that is fun and unique."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014