With almost 20,000 “likes”, the TTU Foursquare site (https://foursquare.com/texastech) is one of many ways for Texas Tech students, customers, and fans to stay connected with the university. Although I had not heard of foursquare until six or seven months ago, my understanding is that Foursquare is basically a location-based social network that allows mobile users to “check in” at various places and venues; and with the development and implementation of Foursquare Explore, users can locate places nearby via the redesigned mobile app and also receive personalized recommendations, reviews, deals, and specials based on the various places and locations that you and your friends have “checked in” at recently.
For Texas Tech University and other institutions of higher education, this is a great way for current students and prospective customers to get tips on places to eat on campus, view photos of the campus, receive updates on campus news and events, and explore the background and history behind various university traditions. For Texas Tech students, the TTU Foursquare site allows users to locate your friends at a football game, the Carol of Lights Festival, the library, the Student Union Building, the leisure pool, the campus bookstore, academic buildings, and various other events, places, and locations around the university campus. Foursquare also allows organizations to post “tips” in which users can say they have “been there,” and can also “like” tips, and save tips to their favorites library.
Texas Tech uses the tips feature in Foursquare to post “insider tips” for students, such as information about placement exams, where to go for printing needs, how to reserve a room in the SUB, where to go for last minute school supplies, information about recycling, dining, and studying on campus, as well as information about TTU history, traditions, and campus architecture, art, and sculptures. Users can also leave their own insider tips for a specific location on or around campus or a specific building on campus. Both the “check in” and “tips” features of the site are effective in promoting TTU social events, building relationships with customers, and facilitating involvement. Although Foursquare is not as popular as some of the other social media networks, from the number of likes, tips, and check-ins on the TTU page, it seems as though students really enjoy using the capabilities this site has to offer for college campuses and universities.