Written by Emma Vetriano • Published 06th October 2011

ImDigital PR professionals have been trying to get their heads around location-based social networking for a while now. FourSquare is undeniably the market leader with millions of users checking in to thousands of locations daily, and it’s even been tipped as the ‘new Twitter’ by Mashable.com.  In July of this year, FourSquare got an extra seal of approval when coupon giants Groupon teamed up with them to launch location-based discounts that work in real-time.

Digital PR has been trying to take advantage of FourSquare, but it has to be said that the industry is still waiting for its real break-out campaign. So far, as good as the ideas have been, they haven’t translated into demonstrable benefits that would justify spending a client’s time and money.

But all that could be about to change as high-end apparel and accessories retailer Neiman Marcus have announced a neat little campaign that could easily translate into cash in the tills.

Image Nancy Gonzalez

Image Nancy Gonzalez

On 1 October, 15 Nancy Gonzalez clutches will be hidden in some of their 21 stores. Users will have to check in to see whether they are in the right store and be given information as to the whereabouts of the bags. Once the bag is found, the finder can take home their gorgeous new prize. Unsuccessful followers will still be entered into a prize-draw and could stand the chance of being selected to win a clutch.

It’s a neat little idea, and the beauty of it lies in the fact that it’s relatively low in cost, easy enough to carry out, and it’s likely to drive a number of potential customers towards the shops, where they’re well placed to stop, browse, and perhaps even spend a little at the till.

As with any social media site, the real potential of FourSquare as a marketing tool is still only likely to be unleashed once the number of users has grown into the tens of millions. Nevertheless, campaigns like this one – simple though they are – set the foundations for a bright future or the little location-based app that is slowly creating a revolution in the way we use social networking.

Cover image courtesy of nadiathinks, flickr.com