The other week I was sitting down with my Hendersonville Geeks and Bill showed me this Foursquare special for Old Hickory United Methodist Church. I’m really familiar with OHUMC as one of my best buds (Jay Voorhees) has recently become the pastor there & I’ve lived in the neighborhood for a number of years now. For a small church they’ve done a few marketing things that have caught my attention in the “I’m surprised they did that” realm. So I give them props for trying stuff.
Jay is tech savy and so I’m sure this one is all him. I find it a rather creative way to let people in the area know that you are there & the sacred hope of coming into the doors.
Think about the buildings you pass by in a daily commute or driving around. You probably don’t. We go to that destination place and then off again. Rarely noticing what is around that destination spot. Or even in this instance, people don’t go near Old Hickory (basically because of the lake system takes out a direct drive, which would be a mile or two) become aware of a small church that is trying something out.
NOTE: Foursquare, for those that do not know is a GPS/Location based application for mobile phones that has people “check-in” at places & will give points & badges for certain achievements.
What I like out Jay’s approach here:
- Offering a free meal is easy for them, they’ve already incurred the cost many times by cooking for the rest of the group. However, for many of the younger families in our area that could be a cool offer.
- It isn’t too slick. He isn’t calling it anything he’s not. They are “newbies” to either foursquare or the church. It works.
- The big allure of the check-in is that it gets broadcast throughout that persons network, which, is probably very defined and those people would probably enjoy taking advantage of that same experience.
Found this other blog posting on a church’s potential use of a location based service. I like the idea of creating a mayorship competition.. (If you want to get into a theological or doctrinal argument over a “mayor” of the church go somewhere else, it’s a game people!) &:~)
Creating a special for your church is easy. Foursquare wants you to do this as this is a huge plus for them and their application. If you want to create some badges for people to work towards, start the process by sending in this form.