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McDonald’s Testifies to Foursquare’s Power — UPDATED

Written on
Sep 17, 2010 
Author
Gavin Dunaway  |

foursquare_smallADOTAS – Updated, Friday 12:05 a.m.: McDonald’s Social Media Head Rick Wion told me on Twitter: “To clarify, the 33% increase was in the number of check-ins. We consider check-ins the same as a person entering the restaurant.”

Ever since Facebook Places arrived, my less technology-friendly friends have been asking me what this Foursquare thing is and why they would want to check in wherever they go.

“Well, with Foursquare, if you check in at a store or restaurant more than anyone else, you become mayor,” I reply.

“So?” they say in chorus.

“So…” Here I get a little flustered, but I regain my composure. “So you can also get coupons.”

“That’s it?” they sigh.

But don’t underestimate that value — McDonald’s certainly doesn’t after a one-day $1,000 campaign increased Foursquare check-ins by 33%. Hoping to capitalize on the excitement surrounding “Foursquare Day” on April 16, McDonald’s partnered with the celebration’s organizers and spread the word that 100 $5 and $10 gift cards would be randomly given by consumers checking in.

The fast food giant recorded more than 50 articles written about the deal, 600,000 new Foursquare followers and 99% positive feedback. In addition to the daily 33% increase in Foursquare check-ins, McDonald’s noted a 40% uptick for the week.

It was the new guy’s idea — Rick Wion, who had started in the position of social media head a few weeks before Foursquare Day, shared the findings at the Mobile Social Communications conference yesterday.

Wion was unable to share the results of a guerrilla social media campaign employed four days later on April 20, but I can tell you I personally have never eaten so many McDonald’s french fries in my life. I was so hungry — damn that Maui Wowie.





Gavin Dunaway is Editor, U.S. at AdMonsters, a leading trade publication, event producer and service provider for the online advertising industry. Previously, he had been Senior Editor of Adotas, where he arrived after years of ping-ponging around various industry publications. This Washington, D.C. native and George Mason University graduate also enjoys playing electric guitar so loud that the walls shake.

Reader Comments.

Did you read the article? It was a 33% increase in checkins on foursqaure, not overall foot traffic. Big difference.

Posted by Andrew Baron | 9:19 am on September 17, 2010.

At the conference, Wion noted a “33% increase in foot traffic.” However, if this was in addition to the 33% increase in check-ins is not clear.

Posted by Gavin Dunaway | 9:58 am on September 17, 2010.

McDonald’s Social Media Head Rick Wion told me on Twitter: “To clarify, the 33% increase was in the number of check-ins. We consider check-ins the same as a person entering the restaurant.”

Posted by Gavin Dunaway | 10:27 am on September 17, 2010.

Gavin,

Thanks for sharing this. I’m the co-author of Guerrilla Social Media Marketing with Jay Conrad Levinson. We’d like to connect via email. What’s the best way to contact you.

Cheers,

Shane Gibson

Posted by Shane Gibson | 3:23 pm on September 18, 2010.

editor@adotas.com

Posted by Gavin Dunaway | 11:46 am on September 19, 2010.

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