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Big Brands Use Foursquare for Goodwill Marketing

  |  November 3, 2011   |  Comments

Arby's, Radio Shack, and Walgreens develop geo-social efforts with philanthropic tilt.

For at least the last two days, Arby's has purchased Promoted Tweets on Twitter for the term "foursquare". It's part of a goodwill marketing campaign running all month, in which the quick-serve chain will donate $1 for every Foursquare check-in at its locations nationwide.

Here's the Promoted Tweet copy: Check-in on @foursquare at any @Arbys location in #November & $1 will be donated to the @ShareStrength #NoKidHungry Campaign!

And Arby's social media team has been replying to nearly every Foursquare check-in coming through the Twitter newsfeed, while adding short comments like: "@consumerX" Nice check-in! You helped raise money for @ShareStrength #NoKidHungry Campaign! Thanks!

The Sandy Springs, GA-based chain didn't respond to interview requests about the endeavor. Share Strength is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit focused on ending child/adolescent hunger in the U.S. "No Kid Hungry" is the organization's motto.

Arby's campaign represents an emerging trend on Foursquare. In much the way brands have used Facebook in recent years to magnify their cause marketing initiatives, they are now beginning to employ geo-social.

Radio Shack plans to announce a "So Right" Foursquare badge for the holiday season, according to a Street Fight Q&A with the retailer's social media director Adrian Parker. Parker told the publication, "So Right is our new platform and we will have a badge called the So Right badge that rewards customers for checking into venues, events, and occurrences. The payoff for that is going to be a really philanthropic angle. This one is not necessarily going to be about offering a discounted value."

And Walgreens on Oct. 8 wrapped up a month-long effort where every time someone checked in on Foursquare or Facebook Places the pharmacy/grocery brand donated a flu shot to an uninsured, underinsured, or financially in-need person. The initiative ran nationwide and in Puerto Rico.


Christopher Heine

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.

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