Showing off your loyalty towards a brand takes quite a bit of dedication. With the [not-so] recent introductions of location-based services (LBS) apps like foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR, Facebook and Yelp, we’re all guilty of “checking-in” to our favorite venues and broadcasting that action to our community of followers.
The drive at first was purely the novelty of the service. Nothing like it existed. But to keep members interested, the services needed to evolve and evolve quickly. Introducing gaming elements like Leaderboards, Mayorships, Dukes, Duchesses, badges and points systems was a no-brainer. The competitiveness, rewards and deals drove growth of the services. But I find myself less and less compelled to continue checking-in and maintain the status levels I’ve achieved at each frequented location. I have to admit, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve capitalized on a reward or deal. Which makes me ask the question; has the market been saturated with heavy-handed check-in members to the point where status levels are no longer obtainable? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve held the same 10 Mayorships on foursquare for as long as I can remember and that number rarely ever changes +/-1.
Will I continue to check-in? Sure. But it’s definitely not for the reasons when I first set out using the services. It’s now about what’s next. When I was younger, I worked at a local grocery store. At the beginning of my shift, I would have to punch my time card using this monstrous industrial looking clock. And that’s what LBS feels like to me at this point in time. I’m punching a clock out of necessity and not for the fun-ness factor. It’s kind of like watching HBO’s original series Entourage. The stories and acting get harder to watch season after season, but you stick in there because you have to see how Vince’s career ends.
What do LBS shops have up their sleeves? What’s the next evolution of the service? Which LBS apps do you use? Where do you see the industry going?
In my many years as a community manager, I’ve collected a lot of varied experiences, thoughts and insights since I stumbled upon this career. My goal for this blog (I’m sure you’ve noticed that this is my very first post!) is to share them with you and help you unravel some of the mystery that lies within the day-to-day responsibilities of the community management role and how to best apply them to successfully manage your community. Let’s call that the overall theme. I’ll pepper in some humor to lighten things up a bit and throw in some reoccurring topics on social networking, mobile apps, tech gadgets and the sort of “Did you ever you notice…?” moments that occur in life. They’ll all relate back to community management one way or another I promise.
To tell you the truth, I’m really excited about blogging and I’m sort of giddy as I’m about to click ‘Publish’ on this post. I’ve brainstormed on about 50+ topics I want to cover and don’t really know where to start after this one. I guess it’s not a bad problem to have? Anywho, thanks for listening and I hope you keep coming back to read about my [productive] rants. Ok, off to create a content/editorial calendar (That’s a nerdy business term. I’m a marketer after all).
Thanks for starting this journey with me.
P.S. You’ll notice I chose an image of an Apple IIe to incorporate into this post. That’s my blogging station on the right. I kid, I kid. That was actually my first computer where I typed up book reports and research papers during the 80’s. I thought it was appropriate as I take this step into the blog-o-sphere.