This is a quick run down of how we used Foursquare during a political campaign.
One effort to create a Where in the World (ward in our case) is the
Candidate effect. Using the app, we “checked in” to various locations
among the campaign trail. This was most effective after having built up a
substantial following via Facebook and Twitter (the platforms that
received our updates). Thus, our fans were notified of where we were
having coffee, taping a debate, riding a bus, eating lunch etc. We
encouraged people to join us, stop by, say hi.
A by product of the effort was promotion of locally owned small
businesses. Where possible and appropriate, it made sense to frequent a
“mom and pop” shop instead of Starbucks. This promotion built goodwill
and served as free advertising for the business.
Additionally, we wanted to illustrate our commitment to visit all
constituents. The residents know the layout of the city and we
demonstrated attention paid to many demographics.
Lastly, we used Foursquare to “map the city.” I think this may be of use
in your area. Being that not all locations were in the Foursquare
database, I emphasized the need to add locations to the system as a
service to the community. Why? When people check in via Foursquare, they
are often told who and what is nearby. It serves the city’s interest to
have locations like art galleries, coffee shops, retail stores, and
parks, added to the system where they can benefit from residual
Comments made on Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter, proved people were
following our activity and they often commented “I ride the same bus” or
“I was just there last week.” All of this raised the level of
engagement and perceived transparency which is so desired in this new
age of campaigning.