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“The Amazing Race” Adds Video Tips and Team Checkins via Foursquare

Author:
The Amazin Race Foursquare

CBS has linked their hit show “The Amazing Race” with Foursquare and created a brand page on the site.

Given the topic of the show (traveling to different destinations all over the world) it completely makes sense for CBS to make this move.

Here’s the message on their Foursquare page:

CBS’s “The Amazing Race” celebrates its 10 year anniversary with 10 years of travel tips, trivia and more. Follow us for exclusive videos from host Phil Keoghan, a look back into the photo vault of previous seasons and fun facts from the Race. Grab your passport!!!

Fans of the show can now see when their favorite team checks-in at their next location.

As you’ll see on “The Amazing Race’s” Foursquare page, they are also using it to promote YouTube videos done by the show’s host, Phil Keoghan. His videos offer travel tips like never check a bag or how to stay fit while traveling.

I like how CBS has integrated everything. Fans can keep up with their favorite teams, as well as get great traveling tips via video – which adds one more fun element to watching the show.

What do you think of the show’s social media strategy?

Google Acquires Zagat, Says They Have a World-Class Team

Author:
Zagat and Google

Google made a big announcement on their official blog today letting the world know they have acquired Zagat, the local review giant. Zagat’s reviews and ratings have become known as a well-trusted source.

Marissa Mayer, Google‘s vice president of Local, Maps and Location Services says, “Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering—delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.”

She went on to talk about the world-class team at Zagat who have an enormous amount of experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry.

Why are they so experienced? Maybe because they’ve been around for 32 years. That’s right, 32 years. Zagat started as a printed guide to restaurants and as Mayer stated, their guides are one of the earliest forms of UGC – User Generated Content – which is what we all know and love on the world wide web in today’s times.

Zagat has brought their company to the web and mobile apps, and now they can add the power of Google search and Google Maps to their product.

Zagat founders, Nina and Tim Zagat, made the announcement today and ended it with saying, “We are thrilled to see our baby placed in such good hands and to start today as official ‘Googlers.'”

Image Source: Zagat

Only 12 Percent of Smartphone Users Access Check-In Services

Author:
Pew Smartphone Survey

Are you a frequent user of smartphone check-in services like Foursquare or Gowalla? I don’t use them because personally, I don’t want people to know where I am. I guess I like going incognito.

Come to find out, I’m not alone. A recent study by Pew shows that only 12% of smartphone users use theses check-in services.

The study shows that 59% of smartphone owners use their phone to access social networking sites, and 15% use their phone to access Twitter. As for sending photos, 80% and sending or receiving texts was 92%.

So, what do you think this study shows? Are check-in services’ popularity slowing down, at a stand still or just getting started? To me it seems when someone first starts using these check-in services it’s fun and exciting, but after awhile, it just gets old.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Whrrl Acquired by Groupon, and Being Shut Down

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Groupon and Pelago (creator of location-based program Whrrl) both posted on their blogs this week that Pelago has been acquired by the group buying site.

whrrl The most important aspect of this news is that Whrrl is being shut down by the end of the month. For good? Pelago explains:

We’ve made the decision to close the curtain on Whrrl for now. Think of it as the end of the first act of a long and complex play. You would be right to expect that the ideas underpinning Whrrl and many of the inventions contained within may reemerge under the Groupon banner.

What does that mean for existing Whrrl users? Well, if they log on they will now find the option to retrieve all their data, and “ultimately have the opportunity to use it again.” So, this bit encourages fans of the application that they will get to use the tool in some greater capacity, hopefully in the near future.

Whrrl has always been more than just “checking in”. They encourage users to give and receive recommendations about locations and activities via the service. Since Groupon is tied to locations and discounts, I can see how merging the two applications could lead to bigger and better things on both fronts.

What do you think of the acquisition? Are you a Whrrl user and wish it would stay active?

17 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Foursquare

Author:

Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge link of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Foursquare

I’ll admit it. When I first hear about Foursquare, I thought the idea was ridiculous. Why would anyone ever want to publicize where they are all the time? But today, I do see the benefits (as long as you are still smart enough to do so safely), and I occasionally will check in. There are, in any case, definite advantages for small business using this service! Let’s take a look at what some brilliant bloggers have to say about Foursquare.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

Location-Based Services: Foursquare vs. Facebook Places by Ryan Goff

I love this post on Social Media Examiner – it compares two of the major location-based services, as well as goes into detail about how why and how to use them effectively, both from the user perspective and from the business perspective. you really can’t go wrong when it comes to Social Media Examiner; trying not to get lost reading all the excellent advice at that website is like trying not to breathe. After you’re done with the post, don’t forget to follow @smexaminer and @RyanatMGH.

The Island Grill Chain: How we’ve used FourSquare in our Marketing by Ingrid Riley

If you’re a small business owner interested in using Foursquare, this is a really great case study. The restaurant owners featured in this post talk about how they are using the service to successfully lure in new customers and reward fans. Check it out an follow Silicone Caribe on Twitter @siliconecaribe.

Confessions of a Foursquare Addict by Hilton Barbour

I love Hilton’s post because it perfectly sums up why Foursquare works and why businesses should be using it. There’s a bright future for not only this service, but other location-based services as well…and this post explains why. I’m sure a lot of you guys can relate (I know I can – my roommate and I were battling over Red Robin mayorship for a few months).

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Foursquare? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

Next Week’s Topic: Vlogging

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Blogger Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

How Bloggers can Use Location-Based Social Media

Author:

I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the entire concept behind Foursquare was stupid when I first heard about it. In fact, I remember ranting to a friend of mine that it was creepy to tell people what you were doing and where you were going at every moment of the day, not to mention dangerous, since it means that stalkers can find you and thieves know when you’re not at home.

Maybe those things are still true, at least in some cases, but if you’re smart about it, location-based social media services can help you as a blogger. I think that over the next several months, we’ll continue to see an increase in the options available, as well as the number of users, and I have to admit…the mayorships and badges and such are growing on me. Yes, I am a huge dork and constantly try to overthrow my roommate as mayor of Red Robin.

I’m by no means an expert on location-based services, so I’ll give you the tips I’ve come across with my personal use, and hopefully you all can chime in as well with even more tips on how bloggers can use this kind of new media!

  • Building Your Brand

I’m a fan of the fact that you can link location apps directly to Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to spread the word about what you’re doing, even if people don’t use these services themselves. In fact, because of my paranoia about the creep factor, I don’t actually accept friend requests and the like on Foursquare itself. Maybe that will change in the future, but right now, I like being about to check in privately to earn discounts and free stuff, but publicize it to my Twitter account when and how I want. When you go places that make sense to your brand, it helps build that image on other social media sites. For example, if you’re a parenting blogger, it makes sense to check in when you’re shopping at Gymboree and if you’re a food blogger, it makes sense to check in when you’re out to eat or grocery shopping. Incorporating pictures is even better if you’re able to do so!

  • Earn Free Stuff

Like I said, sometimes, I’ll check in privately, without publicizing to Twitter, because I know that a location offers free stuff to those who check in or become mayors. Although I’m generally a lover of getting crap for free (fact.), this can also help your blog if you’re looking for products to review but don’t have tons of cash on hand to make purchases or the notoriety to get noticed by the big brands yet. For example, a few months ago, Gap was offering free jeans to the first several thousand people to check in at one of their locations, and that would be a perfect review product if you’re a fashion blogger.

  • Conference Connections

When I was at BlogWorld, location-based services were extremely helpful because I could see what my friends were doing and where people were without having to call or text anyone. For example, there was a party one night that I was on the fence about attending because I’m not a fan of huge crowds. I checked out the check-ins for that location on Foursuare and made the decision not to go based on the huge number of people already at that event. Oh, and while I was doing that, one of my friends popped up checking in somewhere else, and it looked like a much smaller event (it was), so I went and had a blast. At conferences, bloggers often don’t personally know tons of other people, so it can be weird to ask for a cell number. Check-ins allow you to find the people you want to meet without being a total creeper.

Ok, those are my favorite three tips for using location-based social networking if you’re a blogger. How do you use this form of new media?

Holidays 2010: All About Location-Based Services?

Author:

Although Foursquare was around this time last year, this is the first holiday season where I think we’ll see significant use of location-based social networking by shoppers. While users have long-used apps to locate stores, I think we’ll see a rise in usage this year for one main reason: coupons.

According to a survey as seen on Mashable, an average of 30 percent of users are willing to travel move than five miles to redeem a coupon. Of the 1200 surveyed, 21 percent are already using mobile coupons and 36 percent expect product descriptions found on location apps to be valuable while doing holiday shopping. Times are still tough, and just like last year, shoppers are willing to give up convenience of shopping online, shopping at a single store, or shopping at the nearest store to save money. I know I am.

So what does this all mean to you?

For Businesses:

  1. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, consider offering a coupon via location-based apps like Foursquare and Whrrl. In general, the better coupon you offer, the farther customers will travel to redeem it.
  2. Produce descriptions will go a long way in convincing someone to come to your store. Even if you can’t afford an awesome coupon, smart usage of location-based services can help you attract customers.
  3. Publicize your location-based app deals. If you leave it up to the customer to stumble upon what you’re offering, you won’t see much of  response.
  4. If you’re online-only, it might not make sense to offer coupons for location-based services, but don’t forget that offering coupons during the holiday season is a great way to drum up some business. Even if you’re a blogger offering an ebook, discounts during the holidays are appreciated.

For Shoppers:

  1. If you use a location-based service to find someone, especially a small business, tell the cashier as you check out. It encourages them to continue using the service.
  2. Do searches before you leave home to find the best deals and coupons being offered.
  3. Considering downloading a few different apps, since coupons could be offered through some, but not others. For example, Foursquare is great when I’m around home because some of the businesses I frequent offer coupons, but while I was at BlogWorld, Whrrl gave me amazing deals.

Will you be using location-based social networking this holiday season?

Gap’s Giving Away Free Jeans For Checking In As Part of Facebook Deals Launch

Author:

I’ve seen it everywhere on Twitter today. Gap is giving away 10,000 pairs of jeans to those who check in using Facebook Places as part of the new Facebook Deals feature. Just hop into any men’s or women’s Gap U.S. retail location, check in and then show your phone to a Gap employee to enter for the chance to win a free pair!

Too bad I’m not near a mall today. But, as a coupon collector, I did further investiation into Deals, a new feature within Facebook’s iPhone app that enables businesses to offer deals to consumers who check in through the Facebook Places.

Already the following companies have offered deals:

  • Macy’s Inc. offered 20% discounts off most apparel, accessories and jewelry and some houseware items, and 10% off consumer electronics, furniture and mattresses.

  • 24 Hour Fitness is donating $1 to Kaboom to support children’s health for everyone who checks in to its fitness clubs.
  • American Eagle Outfitters offered 20% off;
  • REI is donating $1 to a local conservation non-profit when a consumer visits a store.
  • JCPenney is giving $10 off any $50 purchase.
  • Chipotle locations will offer a buy-one-get-one deal for any entree for customers who check-in on November 13, 14, 20, and 21.
  • Check out more deals!

Facebook Deals has four types of deals – Independent (discounts, products, rewards, etc), Friend (a friend has to check-in and receives discounts), Charity (allows consumers to donate by checking in), and Loyalty (frequent shoppers). To find a deal, just look for a yellow icon when you check in via Facebook Places. You’ll see the offer and can claim it by showing your phone to the cashier. Facebook then broadcasts your deal to your News Feed (I hope this is an option and not mandatory. I don’t need people to know where I’m shopping at all times!)

So will you be searching for deals using Facebook Places?

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