5 lessons learned from Club Seat Foursquare campaign

Seat ClubBack in July I wrote here about the 1st foursquare campaign in Israel, Club Seat, a bold activity at the time, and even now. 4 months later, and thanks to Lindsay for reminding me, here is best practices for launching a foursquare campaign post. The post is based on data I collected on facebook and foursquare, along with personal insights, from my experience and my understanding of the digital marketing space in Israel. The charts comparing the ‘official’ venue vs. Club Seat venue are a visual aid, based on actual foursquare data collected October 26th.

1. Confusing rules

I’ll start at the end of the contest, a status update (see screenshot below) from a participant wondering why he hasn’t won 1st prize. Before you say anything (sour looser, etc) – the dude has a valid point: the winner should be the Mayor of the venue (Galina) that received the most check-ins during the contest. The response from Club Seat, although agreeing with the participant, doesn’t help clear the air (4th comment in the screenshot below): “The club that had the most check-ins by August 31st was Gazoz, 2nd was Galina, 3rd was Sublet. OK, say we believe it (stats anyone?). But wait, it gets better: The Mayor at both Gazoz and Galina, as of August 31st was Michal Y., who declined accepting the prize. Hence, the Mayor of the 3rd venue, Sublet, is the winner”. WTF?!?! How did they deduce that?? Who is Michal Y. and why did she decline a flight+vacation to Ibiza? Where are the check-in stats for August 31st to support the decision? But the most awkward thing is the logic they used for picking an alternate winner. Just so we’re clear, Runner-up refers to an actual human. Not venue. Confusing, but even more, something’s fishy. And that’s not a term one wants associated with one’s brand.

Club Seat post-contest discussion

Club Seat post-contest discussion

2. Duplicate venues

Google’s mission is to ‘Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful‘. Foursquare, as any other User-Generated-Content service (youtube, twitter, go-walla, facebook places, etc) are working hard on eliminating duplicate and triple content, in order to minimize storage space – and make it easier for us, consumers, to find what we need. I understand it was important ‘branding’ the club with ‘Club Seat‘, making it unique to the contest – but I think that’s wrong. There are plenty of methods to measure traffic and check-ins to existing venues, no need to create duplicates. Plus, by using the existing venue already on foursquare (Gazoz, Galina and Sublet) you give incentive to the current Mayor to ‘keep his chair’, by increasing his/her visits – basically ‘using’ the Mayor’s own need to remain, well, the Mayor.

Galina - Club Seat foursquare campaign

Foursquare stats: Galina vs. Galina Club Seat

3. Leverage evangelists

As I wrote back in July, this campaign will be interesting to watch, as foursquare is considered early-early stage in Israel, around 1,000 active users (who checked-in in the past 30 days) in my opinion. Any digital marketing campaign must include early adopters of the technology in question and community hubs – people that have 1000+ facebook friends, 2000+ twitter followers, 300+ foursquare friends – that will act as a powerful magnet, bringing more traffic, making some noise. Maybe Grey Interactive had such evangelists, but even if they had, I haven’t heard about it – and I’m pretty out there, socially speaking.

4. People, not venue, oriented

CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, CIOs – it’s all about the consumer. When doing a location based contest, people count, because tracking their movement and analyzing the data will bring you added value. Premiere value. To strengthen my first point (confusing rules), when the winner (Mayor) of a venue declines a free vacation to Ibiza, give it to the person Runner-up, not the venue. Now, the charts – although Gazoz and Galina (Club Seat) have more check-ins than the official venue, people-wise – they loose. Twice. Because those 114 and 203 people (respectively) could have joined the contest, boosting all metrics, simply by seeing all those other Seat clubbers checking-in.

Gazoz - Club Seat foursquare

Foursquare stats: Gazoz vs. Gazoz Club Seat

5. Bring the business on-board

In my opinion, the #1 reason this campaign didn’t go as planned – minimal business involvement. There are hundreds of clubs/bars in Tel Aviv, all striving to survive, 60% will close within 24 months (actual stat). If Club Seat would have worked with Galina, Gazoz and Sublet, offering an incentive to those checking-in (free keg to parties of 4+, 1st beer on the house, etc), this contest could have taken another route altogether, increasing awareness, boosting sales and helping both Seat and the clubs win the crowd.

Sublet Club Seat foursquare

Foursquare stats: Sublet vs. Sublet Club Seat

10 Responses to “5 lessons learned from Club Seat Foursquare campaign”

  1. 1 Maya Shoval October 26, 2010 at 20:24

    Cool post Dvir! Had no idea this contest was going on, and I’m a pretty heavy user of FourSqaure – so what does that tell you about this contest?

    Anyway, I enjoyed your observations, and I believe you were too easy on them. Their Facebook page is pretty dead, with very little posts about the campaign.

    I do wonder though, where is the takanon?, and who thought that giving the winning prize to the person who basically came in first but at the last place venue, was a good idea.

  2. 2 Dvir Reznik October 27, 2010 at 08:03

    Thanks Maya! Enjoyed writing it.

    Goal was to provide best practices for future activities involving foursquare, so I focused my attention on the campaign itself. But you’re right, there are other components, such as their facebook page, that could use an upgrade.

  3. 3 Hezi Taniani October 27, 2010 at 21:38

    Interesting post Dvir!

    On one hand I was so happy to see that finally one brand in Israel is running a big campaign on Foursquare, but on the other hand I’m sad that eventually that the things didn’t go so well. I agree that giving away free shots at these clubs will bring great hype among users and their friends. Currently there is one bar in TA which does it and has many check-ins on its venue.

    BTW, 2 weeks ago I finished my academic seminar work on Foursquare which found that users doing check-ins for materialistic reasons (discounts, gifts) rather than receive the fame as the mayor of certain venue.

    I assume (and hope) that in the near future, we will see more LBS campaigns in Israel. I guess that when Israeli users will do check-ins , they will prefer something valuable right away from the venue rather than waiting to be its mayor when the campaigns will over.

  4. 4 Dvir Reznik October 28, 2010 at 13:30

    Thanks Hezi!

    I share your enthusiasm about foursquare in Israel, and would definitely like to see more activities involving LBS. The academic work you did sounds interesting, and your conclusion is close to my assumption (and own wishes 😉 – people check-in because they want discounts. Is your work published online somewhere? Would love to read it.

  5. 5 checkmate9 October 28, 2010 at 22:58

    interesting post, strange campaign and results and like maya said, never heard of it….
    they can do only better next time!

  6. 6 Oren November 7, 2010 at 20:53

    Nice post Dvir.

    As I see it, the #1 reason this campaign didn’t go as planned is not minimal business involvement. It was a poor decision to go for foursquare just for the sake of saying “the 1st foursquare campaign in Israel”.

    Sure, foursquare is a real powerful buzzword but it has so little exposure among Israelis – it is nothing more than a waste of time.

    A little research would help to see that there are several location based services much more popular in Israel. CUIN is only one of them.

    Thanks for sharing anyhow!

  7. 7 Stu Higgins November 23, 2010 at 03:36

    Interesting article, great to see some results and would be interesting to see where similar ideas and campaigns would lead in the future.

    Stewart Higgins
    Intranet Expert
    Intranet Software

  8. 8 Dvir Reznik November 23, 2010 at 17:10

    Thanks for the comment Stewart!
    I second your hopes.. 🙂

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Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at] gmail.com



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