Foursquare is another way to market libraries and to educate patrons. It is a location based mobile network, or geolocation social network, and was founded in March 2009. With over five million users in 2010 (by comparison, Facebook has more than 550 million members), Foursquare grew 3400%.
Foursquare in Space
On Oct. 22, 2010 International Space Station Commander and NASA Astronaut Doug Wheelock checked-in from space using Foursquare. He unlocked the NASA Explorer badge that was created especially for him!
Foursquare From a User’s Perspective
• Download the free app for your smartphone
• You can activate the program any time you visit a location
• Foursquare uses your phone’s GPS receiver to pinpoint your position and then lists nearby locations
• Check-in and the app updates your status
• If you update your status enough times at the same location you can earn badges and become “Mayor”
• It’s more fun when you add friends!
• Read and leave “tips” (messages) about experiences at the location
Foursquare From a Library’s Perspective
• Builds community with your patrons
• Encourages visits and participation from patrons
• Interacts with patrons on a different level
• Can create “specials” (prizes) to reward check-ins and “Mayorships”, i.e. totebags, mugs, coupons, post winner’s name with their book suggestion on chalk or white board for a week, free DVD check out, etc.
• Can leave tips for patrons to discover new services and resources
• Do not set up your library as a Foursquare user, instead create a free user account for yourself, then claim or add a venue for the library
• Once you claim your library, it may take Foursquare a couple of weeks to reply and give you complete authority
• Claiming your venue allows you to see a full set of real-time data about your customers, and you can create “specials” to reward check-ins
Have fun with it and don't forget to