Foursquare and the music industry

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Do you know how many times I have heard that one of my favorite bands has been in town and I had no idea? It’s always the “next day,” and I’m like, “What, how in the heck did I miss that?” A lot!

Well, first off, I don’t put myself in the ‘tech geek’ category (no offense anyone), because I don’t consider myself one. I’m not the ‘all-knowing’ Foursquare girl either. I’ve just begun playing with it. I immerse myself in social media because I love people and creating relationships. Much of my world is online. I’m writing this because it makes sense to me.

Secondly, if I want to find out if a good band is playing in my area, sure, I could pick up the local alternative newspaper, NUVO, and see what’s happening. I typically have one each week. The problem is half the time, I don’t read it. This is mainly because I’m crazy busy with writing, working, and playing in my own band. I typically hit up the local music scene once a week, but I hear about these happenings from my friends, bandmates, and Facebook.

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Okay, that being said…enter…Foursquare (and yes, I am addicted and still a newbie). Not everyone knows what Foursquare is. If you do, please skip this next section…I’d hate to bore you. For newcomers, Foursquare is a location-based social network to help you connect with friends using GPS via your mobile device. Jennifer Van Grove wrote an extremely informative post about Foursquare back in July, 2009. (This is a GREAT post and she really explains the history of location-based social networking (LBS), which I won’t go into), but I’ll give a short summary on what Foursquare is: You have an application on your mobile device, much like Twitter. Every time you go someplace, you check in. You earn points. It’s like an adventure…a game. The more you check in, the more badges you earn.

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You grow your friend base, just as you do with every social network. Folks can accept you, or not. Once your friends are connected to you, you automatically get their updates (or you can choose to not) when they check in places. I choose to get the updates because if I’m at Trader Joes, and so is Justin Keller, I’m going to keep my eye out to say hi and give him a big hug (because Justin is super cool). Or, if I’m at a movie theater and my buddy, Joel Smith happens to be there as well, I can pop him a text to see what he’s seeing. Perhaps he’s seeing the same movie I am. My night just got better because we would end up connecting and watching it together (because that’s what friends do). It’s actually a really fun way to stay connected. Foursquare also allows you the option of posting your updates on Twitter.

Another way you can earn points is by recommending something at the place you are. For example, let’s say I’m eating at Zest, which is one of my favorite local restaurants here in Indy. I would recommend on Foursquare, that everyone should try the fish tacos because they are heaven in your mouth. No joke. If I recommend this, and Chad Richards sees that he has to try these fish tacos, he can put it in his ‘to do’ list. I earn points for the recommendation, he’s earns points for checking off this particular ‘to-do’ that I’ve recommended. AND we’ve contributed economically to the local restaurant scene.

Now, if I’m getting ready to head off to Chicago. I can change the city location in my mobile phone, and all of my friends in Chicago can know where I’m at and vice versa. I can have friends all over the country, and my phone isn’t blowing up all the time because my location allows me to only receive the updates of my friends in that same area. Make sense? If it doesn’t, read Jennifer’s article. She does an excellent job at really explaining it.

What I see with Foursquare is that it has HUGE potential for bands and artists. If underground up and coming musicians build a fan-base via Foursquare and go on tour, this is a perfect way to connect with their fans who don’t know they’re going to be in town ahead of time. If The Ting Tings are playing at the Vogue theatre in Broadripple, you can pretty much bet that I’m dropping what I have going on and heading to a show. Let’s say they’re in town for half a day prior to the show beginning. You see they’re in your neighborhood, what a great time to pop by where they are. Make some friends and let them meet their fans. (Not stalker-style…that’s just not cool.) I’m talking about artists connecting with fans and other artists. I don’t see this working for snotty musicians. I DO see it working for personable ones who want to be involved with their fan-base (like me).

My new band, (we’re still deciding on a name…any input would be great at this point) which is playing its first show on Friday, March 5th at Talbott Street, is going to eat this up. (And BTW, that show is a Girls Rock! Indy benefit show…more on that later.) Bottom line, we will create the music, build the foundation, and connect with our fans via Foursquare, all over the country. My suggestion…if you are an artist, hop onto Foursquare and start building. Start playing. If it gets one or two more people out to your show, and then they go back and share with their friends how rockin it was, it was well worth it.

Some people may call it a “game” but it is way more than that if you really think about it. There’s a reason why Foursquare has been said to have the potential to be the “Twitter” of 2010. Are you connected? What are your thoughts?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Lindsay Manfredi
Lindsay Manfredi, writer, ghost blogger, and social media rock star, founded Linzstar, Inc. in 29 to help small and large companies create a more effective and profitable online presence.

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