Case Study: Foursquare

Case Study: Foursquare

CLIENT: Charleston Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to further beautifying City of Charleston (S.C.) parks and green spaces.


  • Increase awareness about the little and unknown parks in the Charleston County.
  • Encourage more people to use their parks
  • Find new Twitter followers who enjoy parks.
  • Increase exposure of the Conservancy to people who love parks.
  • Reward these people for using their parks.
  • Increase Park Angels and volunteers at garden in the park events by posting events at related parks and nearby venues.


Foursquare is a mobile application that allows users to “check-in” to locations and earn rewards in the process. You are able to view tips at locations, as well as become the Mayor of a venue by being the most frequent visitor in a 60-day period. Users are allowed to share their location with their friends on Facebook and Twitter, as well.

We felt this was a great tool to allow us to reward those who check in to Charleston parks, promote events taking place in those parks to those people and to further expand awareness of the Conservancy and its work in the community.

After entering all parks into the Foursquare database we made sure each had the appropriate tags, which is a short description of the physical location, such as park, playground or dog park. We then set up a profile of the Conservancy on Foursquare which allows us to have “friends” that we can follow on Twitter via their account (with the hopes they will follow us back to hear our messages and information) and allows us to post tips, etc.

By managing the Foursquare locations for all the major Charleston parks, we follow individuals on Twitter who check in at parks, friend them via our Charleston Parks Conservancy Foursquare profile and frequently give shout outs to the mayors of the parks. Additionally, once a month, we pick a mayor of one of the 120 parks to receive a Conservancy goodie, such as a T-shirt or water bottle.

Additionally, we list volunteer and other events taking place at each individual park, as well as helpful information about each park via tips, which users can see when they check in there.


We have also incorporated Foursquare into the Charleston Parks Conservancy’s geocaching initiative. Geocaching is treasure-hunting game played with a GPS device. There is a cache at several parks with Charleston Parks Conservancy stickers, buttons, magnets and bookmarks. Once the cache is found, the finder logs their find and then takes a goodie. Geocachers who also use Foursquare will get an additional tip about the location of the cache. This tactic gets more individuals to use Foursquare and hopefully to the parks.


  • 305 Friends
  • On average 40 parks have Mayors at a given time.
  • Four parks have additional geocaching tips on their Foursquare page.
  • Larger parks such as Marion Square have more than 300 check-ins with many check-ins from people visiting the Charleston area.
  • Great feedback from the community about the tips they see when visiting parks.