Posts Tagged 'foursquare'

Foursquare + Caffe Henrietta (Israel)

Had the pleasure of meeting Orli this afternoon at Caffe Henrietta, one of the many coffee houses in Tel Aviv area. Shortly before arriving I saw the picture Orli took (embed below), which I believe is the 1st long-term partnership a local business is doing with Foursquare (correct me if I’m wrong).

Henrietta and Foursquare (credit: Orli Yakuel)

Caffe Henrietta and Foursquare: Join our social club (credit: Orli Yakuel)

The first 5 minutes of the meeting both Orli and I spent facing our iPad/iPhone, respectively, registering for the partnership, at Caffe Henrietta’s website (He). The process is fairly simple, 3-4 steps, to connect you to Caffe Henrietta’s social club (facebook, foursquare, cellphone). Shortly after we received 3 text messages – including a free drink coupon for the current visit!

The text messages I received from Caffe Henrietta

The text messages I received from Caffe Henrietta

I’m happy to see location based services (He) are kicking off in Israel, with various models in place – campaign based, specials, partnerships, exploring what works and what not. Although Caffe Henrietta saw only $5 from the 3 of us (+ tip), the long term exposure and buzz is much bigger, not to mention customer loyalty – next time I’m meeting someone in that area, it will probably be at Henrietta.

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

Nokia Apps Review – Foursquare for S60

Last month at Nokia World 2010 I caught a glimpse of Foursquare for Symbian, demoed by Foursquare stuff, and have been waiting patiently for it to become publicly available. Earlier October, it has been released to Ovi Store.

Profile screen - Foursquare for Symbian

The Profile screen

Most Symbian users (me included) haven’t waited for the official app, using the excellent Gravity application to manage our twitter, facebook, google reader and foursquare – but Gravity had its limitations with Foursquare, such as adding/viewing tips and to-dos. After a week or so of using Foursquare for Symbian, couple of thoughts:

Richness of features

Unlike Gravity, Foursquare for Symbian has all the features of the other mobile apps (iPhone, Android and Blackberry) – a big advantage. Now, after checking-in to a place, I can view to-dos, add tips, view nearby twitter updates and much more. I can also approve/decline new requests and add new friends – actions I could do only on the web (or mobile web) until now.

Tips screen - Foursquare for Symbian

Tips for Ben Gurion Airport

Register new users

A big plus for Foursquare. Although it’s the most popular LBS in the world, it still lags in total number of users compared to giants as facebook and twitter. The ability to join Foursquare from the app itself can ease hundreds of millions of Nokia owners into the location-based arena.

User interface

Something’s went wrong here, not clear why. In both the touch and keyboard versions (see Foursquare demoed on Nokia N8 at the bottom of this post), the actual screen allocated to Places, Friends, To-dos, is too small. The top and bottom include Foursquare and Phone menus, leaving just 2 lines of results to be displayed in each screen (Friends, Places, To-dos, Profile). Symbian is the 4th mobile app to be released (with Android already in V2.0), so the UX/UI was already available. Even on the N8, with its 3.6″ screen, there are too many menus and logos and too little LBS information.


Foursquare for Symbian loading - speed isn't its strong suit

Get used to this screen, speed isn't its strong suit

I tested Foursquare for Symbian on my Nokia E72, which was installed on the 8GB memory card, running from the phone’s 256MB memory (my actual free memory is under 60MB). Start-up time is awful, about 30 seconds and navigating from one screen to the next also takes too much time (compared to Gravity). An action of checking-in to a place (assuming the app is running) takes about 45-60 seconds – way to much for the mobile worker on the go.


Foursquare for Symbian was due a long time ago, but it’s finally here. The UI isn’t perfect and I would appreciate the option of changing the default ‘homepage’ (from Friends to Places). Nokia users finally have a free alternative (Gravity costs 9.95 USD) to help them make the first step into LBS.

Foursquare for Symbian

Download via Ovi Store (free)

Compatibility: Symbian S60 3rd Edition, 5th Edition and Symbian^3 (what version do I have?)

1st foursquare campaign in Israel – Club Seat

Had an interesting discussion this week at Globes event with Ahuvah, a very wise and internet-savvy friend, about foursquare. She asked me – Why? A simple question, complicated answer. Once, not so long ago, people were asking the same WH-question about Twitter, and look were we are now.

foursquare logo

But back to me. I check-in at places of interest, usually business-oriented – meaning if I’m at a the Finance District of Tel Aviv, or the Hi-Tech district – where I’m more likely to meet people. But so far, as Ahuvah was clever to ask, those check-ins resulted in fewer random meetings than I expected. So again, Why? I guess convenience has something to do with it, meaning a proper application – Gravity. I’ve previewed Gravity before, saying it’s the main reason for my increased use of foursquare – a flick of the navbar, and I’m Here! Nevertheless, I believe foursquare is much more than just a contest for who’s got more Mayorships. It’s a valuable database of knowledge about people habitts – and knowledge is power. Much like twitter that crossed the chasm, foursquare too needs the same things: celebrity, business, media coverage.

Club Seat - 1st Israeli foursquare-based campaign

Club Seat - 1st Israeli foursquare-based campaign

Celebrity we have (not many though), media coverage still lagging, but now we have a business. Seat become the 1st business in Israel (Hebrew) to use foursquare in a digital campaign (Hebrew, again), Club Seat, along with 3 known clubs in Tel Aviv – Gazoz, Galina, and Sublet. People are encouraged to create an account in foursqaure, download the app of their choice and visit the clubs. The campaign is three-fold:

  • The club that receives the most entries by August 30th (end of summer break) is crowned ‘Best Club in Town’;
  • Top 20 people with the  highest number of check-ins at any of the 3 clubs will receive concert tickets;
  • The mayor of each club will receive a plane ticket (round trip I hope)

Personally I was hoping the 1st business will originate from the restaurant/cafe/bar industry, much like Starbucks is doing in the US, or’s deal to attract youngsters in London. Seat, along with Grey Interactive, have taken a leap into un-charted waters in Israeli advertising, as foursquare is still in early-early adopter stage here. Facebook has transformed the digital space in Israel – more than 3 million people connected (about 60% of internet-connected homes), #2 fastest growing country in the Middle East (7%, monthly), top 10 countries in terms of average time spent (globally!), and more. No campaign is complete here without a facebook presence. Twitter and foursquare are still considered ‘geek-only territory‘, although twitter is gaining momentum in celebrities and media.

Club Seat was only launched this week, so the stats are obviously low (Gazoz 9 check-ins, Galina 3 check-ins, and Sublet 4 check-ins), but it will be interesting to see how this pilot evolves and what impact will it have on the advertising industry. Stay tuned.

Nokia Apps Review – Gravity and SMS Preview

I’ve been a Nokia fanatic for over 10 years now, and had the chance to review some of the latest cellphones that made it to Israel. Recently, I upgraded my private N95 to an E72 – something I promised to do last June, once the newest E-series will become available.

Nokia App Store, aka OVi Store, is often not mentioned in the same sentence with Google’s Android Market, yet alone Apple’s App Store – both more advanced (UI-wise) and offer a larger variety. Still, there are some cool apps out there, for Nokia, that are worthy a post, or two. This post is the first in a series that will review the apps I’m using on my E72 device, starting with my own favorite Gravity and my first OVi download – SMS Preview. All pictures were taken using another (free) Nokia app, Best Screen Snap.

Gravity [14-day trial, $9.95 buy]

Gravity for Symbian

Gravity Homepage

Gravity is the best twitter client available for Symbian today. Although it costs $10 ($9.95 actually), it justifies every cent. First off, Gravity is more than ‘just’ twitter. The latest version (1.30 build 6355) added Foursquare support, which is the best thing @foursquare could have hoped for – without an official Symbian app, Gravity is the only non-web method Nokia users can check-in, add places, see map and shout. Since having Foursquare in Gravity, my check-ins have increased dramatically.

Gravity for Symbian - Browse menu

Gravity for Symbian - Browse menu

As a twitter client, it’s a fully-featured piece of software, that allows you to: upload images (twitpic, mobypicture, posterous, twitgoo, yfrog, or, create/save searches, lookup a user, create groups, favorite tweets and more.  Mobile access combined with geo-tagging is not the future, it’s the present – and foursquare should assign Jan Ole (Gravity author) some stock options for helping them tap the largest cellphone audience.

SMS Preview [Free]

SMS Preview for Symbian

SMS Preview for Symbian

Back when I was previewing Google Nexus One (Hebrew) I was looking for an app that will handle SMS in an easier and more fashionable way. SMS Preview does a similar job for Symbian, by showing a full preview of the message you received, regardless of the app you’re currently in, for a defined period (5-60 sec). Double-click any key to dismiss the preview. Easy and simple solution that saves you time and helps you decide which action to take.

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



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.