Shelter Scotland claims to be the first UK charity to feature on the social network platform Foursquare. Smartphone users in Edinburgh who visit participating Shelter Scotland shops and 'check in' to Foursquare, will be egible for discounts on merchandise if they show their phone to charity shop workers. They are also able to upload photographs of what they buy. The scheme aims to raise awareness of the charity's stores and encourage loyalty among consumers by giving a prize to those who visit all the participating stores.
Visitors to the charity’s eight Edinburgh shops will have exclusive access through Foursquare to enable them to make lists of their favourite places, write reviews, take photographs of items and share them with friends. In return they will be offered free rewards and discount offers, as well as the chance to collect eight limited-edition badges designed by Stina Jones. Those who collect all eight badges from the capital’s eight stores will automatically be entered into a final competition to win prints of the distinctive designs.
Why is Shelter Scotland doing it?
Gordon MacRae, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: "This is an innovative and fun way for us to appeal to new supporters. Our shops offer an array of high-quality second-hand items and play a vital role in raising funds to help in our fight to end homelessness. Our hope is that Foursquare will enable us to spread the word to a new generation of Shelter Scotland supporters."
How is it being promoted?
The charity is using other social media networks to raise awareness of the campaign. It has been promoting it on the charity's Twitter feed and Facebook page to let people know they can now check in to the shops online.
The campaign is planned to reach Shelter Scotland shops across the country in the coming months, with a view to a UK-wide roll out by 2012.
Third Sector verdict:
Choosing to use Foursquare is an interesting move for Shelter Scotland. The network is less popular for charities than Facebook and Twitter, but the site lends itself well to users sharing information about where they are and creating word of mouth about the charity's shops. Offering discounts and incentives is also a novel idea and will be sure to increase footfall in the stores.