Foursquare, all words and no actions!

I truly felt Foursquare Mayorship had finally arrived in the UK today and with style! I had a crown, a cake, and magazine to read (wired naturally) and a coffee!!  Now I don’t expect to get this treatment in the other three places I am Mayor of, namely because one is a child’s play park, AND not to mention this Mayorship is actually of my own work and I’m the only one checking in, BUT the appreciation of my custom is humbly received!

A year after Foursquare launched, we are still only talking about it, and everyone seems to be saying the same thing- we are all just talking about it. Now I’m a big advocate of words, I love words but you can’t beat good old fashion action any day of the week. We all know the Foursquare chat but where’s the Foursquare action?

Searching SM sites this morning, I find so many people talking about Foursquare, there’s tons of Twitter hashtags and mentions and yet still we in Europe have no real take up. Why is everyone still just talking about it?

While Social Media is still widely unused by the masses, we know it works, it’s revolutionised marketing, advertising and PR with things moving more digital and online. Are people just fed up about another SM avenue they are being instructed to walk down? Are they still playing catch up? Are we ahead of our time?

Being someone who loves Social Media and is happy to be in the percentage of people who check their twitter/facebook and pings off emails while the morning coffee is percolating ( yeah I’m old school on coffee) I feel a little frustrated it’s not gone maninstream yet.

I feel a bit like Tom Hanks in the film Big, excitedly presenting his designed toy to the management team at the end of the movie. He’s designed this great toy with children in mind and the bad guy puts his hand up and says “I don’t get it”, stopping Tom Hanks in his tracks completely. He tries to explain it but the bad guy remains persistent, “I just don’t get it” he shrugs, a little wickedly.

This little excerpt of a great 80’s movie lends itself well to the Foursquare theory for me.

What is not to get? Foursquare is not an expense, its a little time, a little correct direction by a good SM company and you’re off. Are businesses and retailers just being spoil sports?  Ruining our Social Media fun? Getting us back for the SM invasion? Are they rebelling against Social Media and its apparent takeover of the world?  Is there a secret anti Foursquare club with secret handshakes?? Or are they just lazy and don’t want to put in the effort?

Why can’t businesses and retailers be thankful? Embrace the great things social media is designing for their businesses and just say ‘This is awesome, thanks!’  However, this girl loves a challenge, and this time next year….


12 Responses to Foursquare, all words and no actions!

  1. greg says:

    wow..finally someone wakes up and smells the coffee!.. Foursquare and other location based services are going to be huge here in the UK when people finally realise what they are about!…

    I have put a few businesses on Foursquare and they have reaped the rewards already..

    Brilliant article, thanks for sharing !

    • shivvyt says:

      Hi Greg, Thanks for your comment. Karlie is down in London for a couple of days. Not sure if she’ll be popping in to visit Boris Johnson as part of her Tandem Major duties but I’m sure she’ll be preaching the benefits of Foursquare to all and sundry!

      • greg says:

        Great News.. it’s a shame that more people do not know about services like this..I see hundreds of tourists coming into our town off cruise ships all using smartphones and trying to find things to do… what do they find… very very little! so they get on a train and visit another town..glad to see other places in the UK embracing it though!

  2. We are doing really keen on Foursquare in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire. I was at #Glostweetdrinks last night and number of check-ins was in double figures. I’m blogging –, doing talks –, workshops and talking to clients about it. In terms of action there are several venues doing deals such as the New Inn in Gloucester and the Brown Jug in Cheltenham plus more to follow soon. There is also a Foursquare Festival in Cheltenham on 21 August –

    • shivvyt says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Great to see that Foursquare is getting some traction in your neck of the woods. Edinburgh/Glasgow have some good examples but still slow, like lot’s of UK, even tho’ we have a very healthy SM digerati!

  3. Mike McGrail says:

    FAO Greg,

    Can you please tell us what benefit your clients have seen? I see the power of 4sqr and am keen to get as many real examples of success as possible for a write up for The Social Penguin Blog.


    • greg says:


      How about a shop that I put on Fourquare that a person found (never heard of them previously) purely via FS and went in and spent lots of money..and I do mean lots!.. and they are a shop that whilst in the heart of W1 is off a small side off the main drag so to speak.

      Does that help?


      • Charla says:

        Bonjour, J’ai passé en 2009 une visite médicale pour la vue où l’on m’a pris la tension et pratiquer des exercices de rÃÂlf©exes.Cette année, je dois repasser une visite. Est-ce que je peux refuser la prise de ma tension et les exercices de réflexes vu que c’est ma vue qui est concernée pour cette visite ?Merci pour votre réponse.

  4. Mike McGrail says:

    Nice article Karlie, I think we will see adoption increase slowly. Many people have big privacy issues with location based apps but I always tell them not to play then! As more businesses start to offer deals etc, more people will come on board. I use Foursquare and enjoy it, it’s not for everybody (and all businesses) but there is def a massive future in loc based apps.

  5. Craig McGill says:

    A couple of problems:

    1) Rotten phone signals – and 4sq is terrible too at locking on to real location – make it impractical at times.

    2) The iPhone all needs serious work to it.

    3) 4sq no longer let you make badges for your businesses, so there’s one less reason to take part.

    4) Many see it purely as a promotional giveaway tool, nothing more.

    5) In a recent survey of firms using 4sq, only 10% said that it was something they would pay for.

    I like it, it has potential but it also has problems.

    • shivvyt says:

      Hi Craig
      Agreed, there’s definitely loads of room for improvement both in Foursquare and platforms/apps that make using it easier. Geo SM is certainly hotting up. I think it’s fair to say that those of us who are working digital “get” the potential but there’s a real lag with UK punter usage and business take up; the comparatively low groundswell from UK consumers hasn’t really fired the imaginations of business owners…

      We’re of an optimistic bend tho’, last week we tweeted about Foursquare and got a direct message back from Denis Crowley… so someone is listening!

      • greg says:

        …but that always seems to be the problem with the UK..we are so far behind other countries in the up take of services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Flook etc… I monitor what my friends in the US get up to on these services and the offers that they get sent etc.. it really is so impressive.

        I do my bit here to promote these services and I have had some really good responses from people..when the penny finally drops!

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