I’m going to tell you about one man’s love for Pizza and how that love for Pizza came to me writing this blog post.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Pizza, it’s one of my most favourite foods. Why? Because, it’s the staple diet of students through university, yes it is certainly that. For me though, Pizza is everything in a meal and each delicious slices brings with it a further joy to pick up and eat the next. I love the choices that can be had with a pizza and that you can have pretty much every meat imaginable on a pizza. It is never a boring meal.

I was enjoying my love of pizza the other night when I stepped out to visit my local Domino’s Pizza in Harrogate. As many of you Smartdog readers know, I’m an avid social media user being heavily involved with Twitter and other social network sites. I also use something called Foursquare.

What is Foursquare you ask?

Foursquare, if you haven’t already heard of it is a web and mobile application that allows registered users to connect  with friends and update their location. Points are awarded for “checking in” at venues. Users can choose to have their Twitter and/or their Facebook accounts updated when they check in. Foursquare aims to in their own words:

“to encourage people to explore their neighbourhoods and then reward people for doing so. We do this by combining our friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics — our users earn points, win Mayorships and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favourites. As a business owner, you can use foursquare to engage your increasingly mobile customers with foursquare “Specials,” which are discounts and prizes you can offer your loyal customers when they check in on foursquare at your venue.”

Although, Foursquare is very popular in the United States it is still in its infancy in the UK, that’s not to stay there aren’t any UK users, there are plenty. In Harrogate alone, I know of at least 100 people who are using Foursquare regularly and checking into locations / businesses.

How is Domino’s using Foursquare in the UK?

I noticed when using Foursquare inside my local Domino’s Pizza that anbody who checks into a Domino’s frequently and becomes the Major of that Domino’s Pizza shop will get a discounted offer exclusively from them. The offer is currently every Wednesday, the Major of each store receives a free small pizza. T&Cs apply.

Domino’s has had huge success online throughout 2009 and 2010 their E-commerce sales grew by 61.4%, compared to growth of 38.9% at the same time last year. They certainly are one of a small few UK businesses who are using Foursquare as a marketing tool. This use of social media, especially their Facebook fan page and the re-design of their online ordering platform are two of key success factors in their online sales performance.

Here are some screenshots of Foursquare in action.

Notice how I’m not the Mayor! Gareth J. is an he likes Pizza even more than me. Plus, I keep myself healthy and I rarely get takeaway these days. Once a user clicks the ‘Special Here’ link, they are taken to the screenshot below.

My Personal thoughts

Clever stuff and this is certainly where we are moving to technology wise. Clients have asked me “What’s next after Twitter and Facebook?” , it’s not really a question of Twitter or Facebook being the past, rather technology has developed to offer geo-location based targeting. I don’t understand why so many local business in the UK aren’t following the success of the Americans and capitalising on the unique marketing opportunity that Foursquare presents

Here at Smartdog, we’re already using the tools which will become the next big thing, if your interested in marketing your business on Foursquare why not take a look at our social media marketing service.

Flickr Photo Credit: The Pizza Reviewer

Published by Illiya Vjestica

Illiya Vjestica is MD at Smartdog Digital, who specialise in Web Analytics, Social Media & Search Marketing. Illiya is passionate about helping his clients to understand the value of digital marketing, helping them to measure and improve the performance of their website traffic and digital marketing campaigns.