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Foursquare focused

Photo from drakejournalism.com/socialclass/2012

With an average of 3 million check-ins a day, Foursquare is gaining recognition in the app world after obtaining 11 million users as of June 2011. The Social Media Strategies class, taught by Chris Snider, is seeking recognition in this app by acquiring a badge for Des Moines.

“Foursquare is a social media platform that’s all about dealing with what’s local,” senior Sarah Coffey said. “The app and website allow you to check in to different venues and explore what’s around you.”

On Jan. 24, Foursquare released a competition that was inspired by the #visitUS initiative to boost American tourism by rewarding the three cities with the highest number of followers for its popular establishments with a badge.

“A badge is like an achievement,” senior Hilary Henak said. “So if you check in to 5 on-campus dining halls you get a Munchies badge. By getting a badge for Des Moines, it will raise awareness of how great the city really is. I think that a lot of people underrate how many great things are around Des Moines. This badge could get people exploring the city again.”

Henak and Coffey are both in Snider’s Social Media Strategies class, which took it upon themselves to create Des Moines’ list of local hotspots.

“I have been the owner of the list and the one who helped get the ball rolling, but the whole class worked together to make sure we got as may awesome aspects of Des Moines covered as we could,” Henak said. “Everyone in the class pushed hard and promoted the list on Twitter, Facebook to their friends and around Des Moines.”

Creating the list turned into a class project that deviated from the syllabus but still covered class material.

“Our syllabus covers four popular social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Foursquare. We were starting to learn about Twitter when we heard about the Foursquare competition and decided to deter from the syllabus and focus on making a list,” Coffey said. “The first day of class we developed the hashtag #DrakeSocial. Professor Snider and all of the students enrolled, tweet regularly about social media topics.”

Since its creation in 2009, Foursquare has quickly become a worldwide app. It’s useful in regards to social media strategies because people can get coupons, learn what the main attractions of the area are and what’s offered nearby.

“When you go to a restaurant, movie theater or any location you can check in (on Foursquare) to say that is where you are at that time. It is a way to connect friends in the area about what the best places to go, with a competitive aspect as you earn points for exploring new places when you check in at those locations.” Henak explained. “There are even times you can get a deal for using Foursquare to check into those locations (ex. 25 percent off an apparel item at the Drake Bookstore.)”

The list created by students like Henak and Coffey for Des Moines currently has 29 locations, including places like Zombie Burger, Raygun and Jethro’s.

“Foursquare is a really popular social networking tool all across the nation. I personally think it would be great for Des Moines to win a badge because it would make people realize that Des Moines is more than butter cows and corn,” Coffey said. “It would really show that we’re really up on the times, and I think prove ourselves to the rest of the country as a social media force.”


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