Editor's Note: Bring Your Titles to the ‘Fourfront’
While active with other forms of social media, I never really "got" FourSquare. I first became aware of it when I saw Facebook and Twitter posts that friends had "checked-in" at various locations using FourSquare—but I didn't necessarily see the benefit in knowing that Bill was at the gym or Laura was at the grocery store. It also seemed potentially unsafe—did I really want to broadcast to the Internet world where I was at that exact moment? I'll admit, I never took the time to learn how it functioned and what I could do with it.
When a friend told me about how businesses are involved with FourSquare—for instance, she had checked-in at a restaurant and received a free drink as part of a promotion the restaurant was running with FourSquare—I became more intrigued. But still not intrigued enough to sign up. What finally pushed me to join was the January launch of Simon & Schuster (S&S) on FourSquare.
As you will read more about in this issue's cover story on book marketing, this is one of the latest additions to S&S' online marketing strategy. Tips, I'm learning, are a major component of the FourSquare experience. When you check-in at a particular location, you can browse tips on that location provided by friends, other users and businesses/brands—everything from a meal recommendation at a restaurant to a notification about an in-store promotion. S&S' tips provide FourSquare users with a variety of interesting tidbits drawn from its books and authors—tips that users can then share with their friends on Facebook and Twitter, and tips that encourage them to learn more from the related book titles. For example, if I check-in at New York City's Minton's Playhouse, an S&S tip will inform me that jazz legends like Thelonious Monk pioneered bebop there, and that I can learn more in Robin D.G. Kelley's book about Monk. Simply put, this is way cool.