50th Check-In | The Publix Foursquare Watch

Using Foursquare, Todd has checked-in to his local Publix 50 times, without hearing so much as a peep. He will blog after every check-in until he gets recognized as a loyal customer. In the meantime, he will offer some ideas free of charge on how they might use Foursquare. Join the Watch!

[Read the entire eleven-piece series!]

Mission Accomplished!

I have successfully reclaimed my Mayor-ship on my 50th check-in! [How appropriate that it occur on the 50th...]

But like George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech, this celebration is probably a bit premature as well…

Because I still haven’t received any kind of acknowledgment from my local Publix. You will recall I started my Foursquare watch following my 30th check-in. And. still. nothing.

20 check-ins later…

Sad thing is, I actually had to compete pretty hard to get my title back. Took me six check-ins – after I all but guaranteed getting it back. So, the gentlemen with whom I am competing gave me a good run.

Can you imagine what would happen if Publix actually cared about people like us? And being Mayor actually meant something? Publix had the scenario originally envisioned by Foursquare…heated competition for Mayor.

As I reflect on this, I am left to wonder…why isn’t Publix doing anything about this, let alone responding to someone like me?

1. Does the local store manager not care?

2. Does corporate control and dictate all marketing outreach like this?

3. Does Publix not care about the social web?

4. Does Publix not understand the social web?

5. Does Publix take crazy customers like me for granted?

I hope not. And that’s the point of this watch: to bring awareness of the possibilities to large organizations like Publix…

Todd’s FREE Publix Foursquare Tip: Simple lesson for large organizations with multiple locations: Empower each individual store to take the initiative and get creative with outreach with their most important customers. Don’t let headquarters dictate actions from far, far away…

What other Foursquare/geolocation ideas do YOU have for Publix?

  • http://twitter.com/calittle Andy Little

    Yeah, I feel the same way about many of the locations I frequent on Foursquare. In fact, I rarely use 4SQ unless I know of a 4SQ deal already (Starbucks, for example).

  • Stephanie True Moss

    Good point Todd! Here is hoping that businesses will begin to realize the gift they are being given by location-based apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl and all the others and by those who embrace them! One national restaurant chain has recognized that gift and is now offering chips & salsa to ALL who check-in with Foursquare! Those rewards will begin to have an affect on business as word of rewards spread. The business are the real winners!

  • Todd Schnick

    Interesting comment, Andy, which means locations need to educate people about their 4Sq specials, and not assume people will just check-in there…

    Will you pick one location over another IF they offer a 4SQ special?

  • Todd Schnick

    While I get frustrated by stores like Publix, we have to remember that still MOST small businesses are not aware of the potential power of this tactic. It is up to us to educate! Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/SarahEWalraven Sarah Walraven

    I think Publix as a whole has not adopted social media. I love Publix, so when I started my Twitter account, went searching for their Twitter handle. There’s not a verified one, and nobody had Tweeted from what looked like an officialish Publix account in months. (This may have all changed, I searched last about five months ago.)

    So it’s no surprise to me that your check-ins are going unnoticed. Publix is in that wonky regional-chain size where they are large enough decisions like acknowledging your mayorship have to go through corporate, but small enough that corporate is a smallish office in Florida.

    I think Publix could use FourSquare to it’s advantage, especially since it’s very discount/coupon friendly and a big proponent of customer loyalty. I hope you’ll draw some attention and help Publix board the social media train!

  • Todd Schnick

    Thanks for your thoughts Sarah, and yeah, I agree that Publix could certainly use 4SQ to it’s advantage.

    They are coupon friendly (I receive mail all the time) but I think they could connect with customers on a much deeper level with the use of this technology.

    Oh well, we’ll keep at it! Thanks for stopping by!

  • tschnick

    Interesting comment, Andy, which means locations need to educate people about their 4Sq specials, and not assume people will just check-in there…

    Will you pick one location over another IF they offer a 4SQ special?

  • tschnick

    While I get frustrated by stores like Publix, we have to remember that still MOST small businesses are not aware of the potential power of this tactic. It is up to us to educate! Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/SarahEWalraven Sarah Walraven

    I think Publix as a whole has not adopted social media. I love Publix, so when I started my Twitter account, went searching for their Twitter handle. There's not a verified one, and nobody had Tweeted from what looked like an officialish Publix account in months. (This may have all changed, I searched last about five months ago.)

    So it's no surprise to me that your check-ins are going unnoticed. Publix is in that wonky regional-chain size where they are large enough decisions like acknowledging your mayorship have to go through corporate, but small enough that corporate is a smallish office in Florida.

    I think Publix could use FourSquare to it's advantage, especially since it's very discount/coupon friendly and a big proponent of customer loyalty. I hope you'll draw some attention and help Publix board the social media train!

  • tschnick

    Thanks for your thoughts Sarah, and yeah, I agree that Publix could certainly use 4SQ to it's advantage.

    They are coupon friendly (I receive mail all the time) but I think they could connect with customers on a much deeper level with the use of this technology.

    Oh well, we'll keep at it! Thanks for stopping by!