Location-based Radio Promotion

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Location-based marketing is the newest social media buzzword for GPS-based check-in networks like Foursquare, Gowalla, & Yelp.  Foursquare is still in its infancy – even with just over one million registered users – enough to receive most of the hype, which will only get louder now that Facebook has jumped into the game with Facebook Places.  These services aren’t for everyone, and the security problems they create are getting just as much attention as their popularity.  But, I assure you location based marketing is not going away; in fact, it will become a standard part of retail’s marketing mix very quickly.  Consumers are turning to their mobile devices more and more everyday to make purchase decisions, making location based marketing incentives a natural for retail.  Case in point:  Scotty’s Brewhouse in my hometown owns three of the top ten check-in venues thanks to their rewards plan for loyal customers who participate.

What can WE do to integrate location based marketing into our social media strategies?  How does radio use Foursquare when we don’t really have a “location” for checking in?  For that matter, what about television and bands?  There must be something we can do!  Click through for my ideas you can start using today!

VH1 is on FoursquareBravo is on FoursquareSo is The History ChannelLefsetz even points out the Washington Redskins are on Foursquare!  (Read his blog post on the subject here.)  I can’t find a single radio station or band with a Foursquare presence.  (If you know of one, leave a comment below.)

I’ve wanted to write about this for almost a month.  I consider myself to be pretty savvy when it comes to social media and digital marketing; but, I’m stuck.  Maybe it’s just writer’s block.  Maybe there isn’t a way for a brand that does not have a physical location to use location based marketing … unless you ask prize pigs to check-in every week when they pick up their movie passes. 

I’ll give it a shot anyway.  Here are some ideas from my notes:

  • Post signage in your lobby asking winners to check-in when they pick up a prize (see it’s not that bad of an idea).
  • Post signage at every remote asking people to check-in from the client location with the “phrase that pays,” select a winner randomly from check-ins.
  • Encourage listeners at work to give your station a “shout out” when they check-in at work – thank them on air, or award a daily prize.
  • Encourage concert goers to give your station a “shout out” when they check-in from the venue to win instant seat upgrades or some other prize.
  • Encourage listeners to report on businesses they find playing your station when they check-in.
  • Make sure your staff checks-in when they go on the air, attend a concert, or visit a client.
  • Consider a way to add value to your half price deal partners through check-ins.
  • Giveaway concert tickets to the first person who checks in mentioning your station and the artist in concert when you play one of their songs.
  • Give a prize to anyone who checks in from the same place as one of your personalities, mentioning them in the shout out, even when it’s not a station event.
  • Conduct a scavenger hunt that requires listeners to check-in from # of client locations to enter the contest.
  • Conduct a scavenger hunt to award a prize to the first person to “catch” your morning show by stalking them on Foursquare or Places.
  • Award a grand prize to a listener who checks in from multiple station events during the same week or month.
  • Educate your sales department about location based marketing so they can encourage clients to include their check-in offers within their commercial copy; perhaps convincing them to make their offer better if the check-in mentions “they heard about it on your station.”
  • Research all the retail check-in specials in your market and post them on your website.  Advertising Clients can pay to increase their profile on the page.

That’s a start.  It does require more work on your end; Foursquare and Facebook Places don’t make it easy for the venue side; for example, you can only see the last ten check-ins and there is no way to directly communicate with the person unless you contact them via @reply (if they link Foursquare to Twitter) or Facebook messaging … But, you’ll be ready for the future.  I guess I should disclose that I’ve never actually tried any of those ideas.  If you dare, let me know how it works or leave a Comment if you have a better idea!

VH1, Bravo, The History Channel, and the Redskins are all doing things on Foursquare that radio could steal.  We just can’t do them right now.  Foursquare is growing so fast they’re not able to keep up with partnership requests.  They simply don’t have the infrastructure.  Local businesses are out of luck without coughing up major bucks.  Here’s what I mean …

  • If you wanted to create a badge for your radio station to award listeners who check-in at certain times and have a Mayor who listens most;
  • If you wanted to create a Swarm Badge for a station promotion;
  • If you wanted to conduct a contest among listeners who check-in at certain times listening;

You couldn’t do it.  At the moment, Foursquare is not creating specific local/custom badges nor improving the data available to business locations.  I’m sure they’ll get around to implementing such commercial partner opportunities … at some point, Foursquare will need to make money … until then, we’ll have to be more creative under a steep learning curve of trial and error.

Are you on Foursquare?  Do you use Facebook Places?  Let me know your location based marketing ideas for media and music brands or if you think my ideas could work in the Comment section below.  Meanwhile, I’m checking-in from River Ridge Apartments Indianapolis where I’m currently the Mayor.



  1. Conan Checks-in on Foursquare « Scott Sands Media LLC - October 9, 2010

    […] Location-based Radio Promotion […]

  2. Easy Foursquare Promotion for Radio « Scott Sands Media LLC - November 17, 2010

    […] Location-based Radio Promotion […]

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