Foursquare, the geo-tagging social network, recently revealed that over 1.7 million people had registered on the site. The game, launched in March last year, sees users 'check into' venues across the country in order to earn points and rewards. The service also acts as a catalyst for impromptu meetings over a coffee or beer thanks to the fact that individuals can see if their Foursquare 'friends' are in the nearby area.
Aside from being a hub for marketing agencies and SEO, Manchester is also known for its keenness to get involved in new social media opportunities. The digital community has embraced a number of different social channels and the city regularly plays host to gatherings and meetups related to social networks. So naturally, Foursquare usage is quite high in the city.
Here are the ten most popular locations in Manchester city centre, based on the number of 'check ins', according to Map.pr.
|1||Manchester Picadilly Train Station||2,636|
|8||Starbucks (Oxford Road)||172|
|=9||Selfridges & Co||171|
So, what can we tell from this information?
Manchester's Foursquare users are sociable. Three out of the ten locations are bars or pubs. Furthermore, we can assume they have access to disposable income, given the appearance of the Arndale Centre, Boots and Selfridges on the list.
The appearance of Madlab, the digital community centre, isn't really surprising, given the nature of the city's early social adopters. The top result, Piccadilly Train Station, shouldn't come as a surprise either, considering the amount of commuters coming in and out of the city. This information, however, can lead us to assume that Foursquare users have hobbies or occupations which necessitate long-distance travel.
Why is this information important?
Foursquare gives marketers the opportunity to accumulate a huge selection of data on a particular demographic. If the social channel continues its growth, dispersing across a wider community, it will offer companies the opportunity to collect data about their consumers' interests, hobbies and favourite venues.
Geo-tagging services like Foursquare allow marketers the opportunity to hone their digital and real-world advertising campaigns. These social channels provide an unprecedented level of access to consumers; the only question is, who will take advantage of it first?