Social Media

National Car Rental Taps Local Influencers for Foursquare Program

January 22, 2013

Now equipped with the Explore function, Foursquare has evolved from a simple check-in service into a full-blown discovery engine equipped with a bevy of crowd-sourced information.

Foursquare Lists are valuable to consumers who want local information quickly from a source they likely already trust. Add local influencers to the mix, and users get hyper-relevant, third-party authority at their fingertips.

Foursquare Lists, along with the Explore function, are tools that brands can leverage to expand their reach. For example, Bravo has several curated lists that align with regional hotspots featured in its programming. Furthermore, brands can seek opportunities to collaborate with influencers to maintain a clear presence and authority, which will ultimately provide an extra step of service for their consumers.

“Go Like a Pro” with National Car Rental + Foursquare

Renting cars is inherently mobile, so it made sense for 360i client National Car Rental to leverage Foursquare. 360i recently worked with the brand on a new initiative that tapped influencers to curate city-specific check-in lists across eight top markets. Through Foursquare, these influencers acted as local tour guides to savvy business travelers looking to power their way through potentially unfamiliar cities with ease.

The branded Lists will be cross-promoted through the brand’s – and participating influencers’ – social platforms to extend the brand across the social landscape and help customers continue to Go Like a Pro.

Foursquare Lists

Through harnessing the expertise and influence of popular travel writers, National, a brand whose attributes include speed, choice, and control, continues to provide value by offering useful information and a streamlined experience to its customers. At the same time, the program gives influencers the opportunity to be spotlighted as experts and receive added exposure for their local prowess and social authority.

Tips for Success

1. Make It A Win-Win

As is the case with any influencer marketing program, brands should ensure they are providing an opportunity that not only benefits the brand, but also provides a quality value exchange for their partners. Since many of our partners were bloggers, their greatest reach was – of course – on their blog. National brought that voice to a new platform where many of the bloggers did not yet have a presence, extending the currency exchange for bloggers through natural link building and recognition.

2. Respect Cross-Platform Influence

The influence of an individual can live on many platforms, and collaboration across networks can contribute to high-quality and unique content that can be used by both the brand and the influencer.

3. Use New Foursquare Features to Get Beyond the “Check-In.”

Foursquare is opening the doors to more opportunities for collaboration. One area that we see as a key opportunity is identifying and quantifying influencer reach within the platform. The new profile feature that allows users to add a bio enables brands to navigate and find influencers with the right fit. Additionally, using the new paid promotion feature to promote influencer tips and lists will help boost authority, authenticity, and reach.

4. Utilize Foursquare for Brick and Mortar Locations to boost Local Search Optimization.

By uploading all of their brick and mortar locations with the exact location coordinates, phone numbers, and keyword rich descriptions, National added a form of local search optimization to their online presence. As a result, they helped their customers Go Like a Pro by making locations even easier to find online.

As Foursquare expands its platform to evolve from a check-in service to a data-powered exploration tool, brands have more opportunities to creatively curate users’ experiences within key markets. Influencer lists are particularly powerful because they enable brands and users to go beyond the Foursquare Explore algorithm and into the world of personal recommendations from someone they can trust virtually.

Margot Inzetta, Senior Social Publicist at 360i, contributed to this post.