Social media here, social media there, social media everywhere. Even as a person who loves, adores, and was an early adopter (Twitter since early 2008, yo!), the constant barrage of new sites! New apps! New social tools! even gets to me sometimes.
I don't get excited about every new popular domain name. I'm not the first to set up an account of the latest and greatest. I've been burned before (Google+ anyone?) and there just aren't enough hours in the day to devote time to every site Twitter says is cool. Cuz now it's not 2008 anymore and everyone and their mother is giving opinions on Twitter (not that there's anything wrong with that, as long as you know how to properly manage your own account).
As I write this post, I just clicked a friend's Pin and took in an inforgraphic that appeared on Mashable titled Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers [INFOGRAPHIC]. This article which appeared today, pretty much sums up what I'm about to talk about here, except I was going to apologize to Foursquare for being an early adopter-hater and then tell you how much I love Foursquare for its "Specials Nearby" feature and how I utilized it yesterday and felt soooo good about myself afterwards.
In March of 2010. I wrote a post that I called To Foursquare or Not to Foursquare: A Cynic's View. I was wholly unconvinced. I even quit the location-based social networking site for a while. Can't recall what brought me back but it was probably some little voice inside my head whispering, "go back, you've made a mistake. Second chances are for winners."
So I did. While I don't "check-in" everywhere I go and I don't double-dip by posting my Foursquare check-ins to Facebook (which has its own check-in capes), I do use it sometimes to take advantage of retail deals.
Aaaaah. There. I said it. If you are an avid Foursquare'er, you've undoubtedly noticed the little box "Specials Nearby" feature at the top of your "places" page - and if you click over, you'll be privy to some retailers who are taking a chance on an unknown kid as yet unproven tactic for increasing sales. Yesterday, I "checked-in at a large shopping complex and checked my specials. I noticed that the kids store across the way was offering 40% off any purchase just for checking in.
SCORE. Foursquare's stock just skyrocketed in my book. If you have to outfit children, you know that it's a constant drain on the bank account and if you have two budding fashionistas like I do, hand-me-downs are not going to cut it. So, Justice - nice job. I hope others catch on to your genius. Because yesterday, for the cost of 40% of a size 4 skirt and a size 8 dress, you got a mention on Twitter that may or may not have reached any of my 3400+ followers. Worth it? I can't say how it was for them but I felt like I needed a smoke after heading out the door.
Same seems to be true of Pinterest. I only recently signed-up for the newish online pinboard. The idea is to "pin" things that appeal to you in visual format to your board. Of course, you have followers who see your pins and they may or may not be swayed by your influence. Each pin, btw, automatically links back to its origins (etsy shop, online retailer, etc). For me, I love to look at the pretty pictures and of course, one more spot to share my ideas - yay! But in seriousness, I'm considering actually making a purchase from a pin I saw on the site.
So. Where does this leave us. We're moving beyond bloggers to real people. And based on what I've seen coming out of the blogosphere lately, we're all the better for it.