Last December, the German railway company, Deutsche Bahn, started claiming its different train stations on Foursquare. As of now, Deutsche Bahn has claimed 106 train stations. Although a good start, Germany still trails France, the UK, and the Netherlands, which have more actively utilized Foursquare to monitor their stations throughout their respective countries.
Train stations are among the most checked-in venues on Foursquare, reaching as many as 200,000 check-ins. Considering its late adoption of Foursquare, Deutsche Bahn is actually performing pretty well in terms of number of check-ins per registered station, and is ranked right behind France who started using Foursquare more than 2 years ago. However, none of DB’s stations made it in the top 10 of most checked-in stations.
If we look at the ratio of check-ins to the number of train travelers in the country, the Netherlands are far ahead of its neighbors. NS, the Netherlands Railway Company, has embraced the power of location-based services like Foursquare to advertise and create a community around its brand. Last March, NS launched a nation-wide check-in campaign on Foursquare and Facebook Places, to invite students to check in and leave reviews in order to win a trip to Paris.
What can railway companies expect from their presence on Foursquare?
- Get traffic data
The high traffic on Foursquare pages make it an ideal database for railway companies: real time foot traffic data, traffic trends throughout the year, and customer feedback.
- Get customer feedback
Analyzing the tips left by the travelers could enable companies to better understand the sources of customer satisfaction or discontent. For example, French and Dutch customers seem to complain a lot about the late trains, whereas German ones complain more about the lack of information in the stations. On the other hand, the presence of good coffee shops seems to be much appreciated by most customers.
- Reach out to existing customers
Foursquare venues is a great platform to reach customers. Deutsche Bahn has been posting informative messages on Foursquare to directly connect to its customers and linking them to their own website.
- Generate new customers
Creating big Foursquare marketing campaigns like the Netherlands’ train company did, is a good way to build a company’s brand image online and to draw the attention of the younger generation who tend to adopt more alternative ways of transportation like carpooling.
Here is an infographic highlighting the data we dug up on Foursquare concerning 4 national railway companies: French SNCF, British National Rail, German Deutsche Bahn and Dutch NS.