Starbucks Hopes to Caffeinate Foursquare Users

Starbucks earlier today launched its first promotion on the geo-location service Foursquare, offering “mayors” of each location $1 off their Frappucinos. Running through June 28, the promo comes as part of the coffee retailer’s “however-you-want-it Frappucino” campaign that kicked off last week.

Lisa Passe, spokesperson for the Seattle-based company, said the Foursquare offer was unveiled via Twitter to the brand’s nearly 900,000 followers around mid-day Eastern Standard Time. A grand majority of Starbucks’ 11,000 U.S. locations will participate, Passe said. “The locations-based applications are very unique in the sense that you have this intersection between the digital world and the actual tangible store,” she explained.

Starbucks had already been letting Foursquare users earn virtual badges, but there wasn’t a reward involved. Badges and mayor titles are awarded for having more “check-ins” than other players who visit establishments. Thousands of entities have launched the free-to-use Foursquare business pages, especially local restaurants, nightclubs, retail stores, etc.

Starbucks joins NBC, Pepsi, Conde Nast, and The History Channel as big brands that have recently latched onto to the geo-social platform to engage the mobile audience. The coffee retailer’s timing is also interesting because it has 7 million fans (or “People Who Like”) on Facebook, which plans on launching a geo-locations service of its own in the coming weeks.

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Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.

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