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Putting Foursquare-esque Technology to Work… at Work

If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook or Twitter, you more than likely also know that I am a HUGE fan of Foursquare, a location-based social community where you check in to different venues and receive “badges” based on how your check-ins are tagged or categorized. And while many companies are now realizing the benefits of location-based marketing, I, of course, see a huge opportunity to leverage Foursquare-esque technology to engage and motivate employees.

Using Location-Based Information for External Marketing

The popularity of the Foursquare community has increased so much that mega companies are now using the newly introduced Foursquare business tools for social media marketing. For example, Starbucks recently announced a “Barista” Foursquare badge for those who visit a Starbucks five or more times and Foursquare recently partnered with 30 businesses to introduce tools that give companies real-time statistics on who checks in to their establishments. Moreover, it’s another opportunity for a company to humanize itself to its consumers. Case in point:

Shelley Bernstein, chief of technology at the Brooklyn Museum, sees promise in the Staff pages. “Basically, the new statistics tools give us the ability to promote a personal face for our staff so we’re not just seen as an institution,” she said. “We’re wrapping all of this into our Web site through Foursquare’s A.P.I.’s , and we allow people to interact with staff and have the opportunity to engage with them in new ways.”

Original Post: Foursquare Introduces New Tools for Businesses, New York Times

Personally, I would love to see Verizon Wireless partner with Foursquare to release a Verizon Wireless badge that would not only be a great store finder method (even I have problems locating a store when I need one) but also another marketing channel for honoring promotions and discounts to recognize people who have achieved the Verizon Wireless Foursquare badge by either frequency of visits or by visiting different area stores — rewarding frequent customers as well as enticing new ones. As a customer relationship tool, a Verizon Wireless store could create Staff pages, so that visitors can check in to that store and know who the manager is or who the most knowledgeable salesperson is based on feedback from previous visitors. Moreover, what a fantastic way to bring new life (no pun intended) to the previously launched and much less talked about Verizon application SocialLife.

Internalizing Foursquare for Employee Engagement

Of course, aside from the external marketing angle, I see a lot of potential for a Foursquare-esque application to really motivate and engage employees, ultimately using the location-based service to make a global corporation a little less… corporate and global.

Hear me out… for me, the essence of location-based social networking is not so that I can announce my whereabouts or know of my friends’ whereabouts. Rather, it’s the ability to make the world a little more navigational and easier to find.

Whoa… isn’t that what HR / Employee Communications strives to do as well? You betcha. So, consider these opportunities for using location-based technology within the enterprise (and feel free to add your own):

  • Employees can “check in” to various corporate locations, leaving tips and to-dos for other visiting employees. How many times have you wondered about the best place to park at a location you’ve never been to? Or security procedures?
  • Integration of HR transactional systems into Foursquare, so that employees can “check in” and earn points for visiting or performing various HR transactions such as time reporting or completing career development courses.
  • Facilitate the onboarding process by having badges for each essential part of the process — receive computer, complete new employee forms, attend required training, etc.
  • Encourage participation at employee town hall meetings or quarterly Webcasts by awarding special event badges.
  • Develop a recognition and rewards program around employees who have either earned a high number of points for each check-in or create special badges for employees who have performed stellar work.
  • Encourage attendance by having employees check in when they are in the office.

Suggested badges:

  • Newbie — New employees can receive the “Newbie” badge the first time they check in at the office.
  • Corporate Traveler — Employees who check in to five or more corporate locations can earn the Corporate Traveler badge.
  • Corporate Kool-Aid — Employees who have earned points for checking in at all employee town hall meetings or quarterly Webcasts.
  • Coffee Break — Employees who have checked in at the corporate coffee bar more than 10 times in a month.
  • Corporate Warrior — Employees who have checked in at a corporate office more than 50 times.
  • Corporate Suck-up — Employees who have checked in at the same meeting or event as a senior leader or executive.

Any other ideas or suggestions? Please, by all means, leave them in the comments below! What badges would you create for your company?

Please note: the thoughts and ideas regarding Foursquare within the corporate enterprise, and ideas regarding Verizon Wireless specifically, are from my own senseless mind and should in no way reflect any thoughts, ideas or strategies of Verizon Communications.

5 thoughts on “Putting Foursquare-esque Technology to Work… at Work”

  1. Well done. I’ve been looking for a good explanation of Foursquare and this post provided it. And the internal examples are great. Would it be weaved into the corporate intranet somehow for both security purposes and also as as way to not necessarily create another channel that people have to go to?

    1. I am all about integration, and in fact, had been thinking further on your exact point. I would absolutely advise the incorporation of such a feature with either the Intranet, collaboration site, or, preferably, a site that is one and the same. This could easily be incorporated with an internalized Twitter platform as well. Something I’m fortunate to have at Verizon!

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