Five steps to get the most from Facebook Places and Foursquare

This past Saturday I was on a Panel at the Nonprofit Technology Conference about using location-based services to create awareness and raise money for your organization.

The panel included Estrella Rosenberg of Big Love Little HeartsJoe Waters from Boston Medical Center, and Dan Michel from Feeding America.

Here are five points I took away from the session:

1. Understanding user motivations

Understanding user motivations is important in developing your LBS strategy. For example, Foursquare users love collecting badges and love becoming the mayor of a venue, while Places users are motivated by sharing interesting places and being “on stage” in front of their friends. Obviously, these are generalities – using them yourself is the best way to know what your constituents’ motivations are.

2. Use the services as is

As you may have guessed, services like FourSquare and Gowalla don’t have the bandwidth to focus on special projects, or wish-list feature requests. With that in mind, develop your strategy around these services as they are – both in terms of user base and features.

3. Use them as one channel among many

Because of the limited user base, cultural adoption and functional limitations of these tools, they should be used only as a marginal supplement to other channels. You might be wise to use them experimentally with no expectations of ROI (and be pleasantly surprised when you have a win).

4. Integrate into a CM program

You can use both services to easily operationalize a cause marketing program. Especially with those large donors who happen to own a local bagel chain. Create a cause marketing program for your organization with “Cause Marketing for Dummies”.

5. Experiment

One thing I love about what Feeding America did with Waze, was that they didn’t wait for other orgs to pave the way. They got their hands dirty, and in doing so, are now considered a case study in how orgs in the future might use LBS.

Originally published on and republished here with permission. 

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Jane Warren
Jane Warren6 years ago

I still 'get lost' on Facebook. Getting more from the site will hopefully prevent that.

kathleen b.
kathleen benbow6 years ago

thank you, if I ever get a smarter phone than I now have, and IF i stay with facebook, this might be useful.

Velmapearl Hawkins
Velma Hawkins6 years ago

thank you for the info.....much appreciated

Fadia C.
Fadia C6 years ago


Tomasz Grabarczyk

Thanks for this :)

Patricia Geller
Patricia Geller6 years ago

I have no clue what all this means.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p6 years ago

still don`t like using facebook, thanks for the article, sure can be usefull for users of these sites.

Dana W.
Dana W6 years ago

Thanks for the info

Bob D.
Bob D6 years ago

good to know!

Michal Ciepielewski

good to know;)