Should my practice be on Foursquare?

Posted in Social Media | May 16,2011

Haven’t heard of Foursquare? What about Gowalla? Don’t worry, it’s a part of a new and upcoming technology called Location Based Services (LBS). Just like you can share a photo or video on Facebook, you can also share your physical location using your smart phone (basically any phone with GPS built in, like the iPhone and Android phones).

This might seem a bit odd at first, but after you try it out, you may change your mind. It’s interesting to see where your friends are and fun to share where you at. Check in (that’s what it’s called when you share your location) at a restaurant and you’ll see friends commenting on their favorite dish, or giving you suggestions near by.

A recent national survey looked into hospitals presence on Foursquare. A shocking 10 percent did not claim their hospital (claiming simply means you obtain ownership of the spot on the service). Once you claim your location, it alerts you of comments, but also always you to push tips out to users that check in.

Many users that check in leave comments, such as “Bring a map. Easy to get lost in the maze of hallways.” How much more helpful would it be to, once a visitor checks in, to provide them with a mobile-friendly version of your hospital map? That would be incredibly helpful and turn potential frustration into a positive experience with your brand.

Of course, you have to be considerate of what service you are offering. Someone is much more likely to share with their friends that they are getting LASIK than a more serious operation or procedure.

As these services grow, it will be important to monitor over time. If you want to see how many people have checked in to your location, simply do a search here: https://foursquare.com/ (there’s a search box in the top right).

Does all this sound like Greek to you? Simply give us an email or a phone call and we’ll be more than happy to get you all set up.

Best, Chrissy Madison Social Media Specialist