Rixar Garcia, World's Happiest Cabbie, Part II

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When we left off last week, Rixar had created a huge Twitter following for his taxi company, Taxioviedo, and garnered all sorts of media attention and extra business. But he wasn't through innovating yet! (Want to catch up on the tale of Rixar Garcia, World's Happiest Cabbie? Click here.)

Having explored the options that Twitter, email, and Facebook gave potential customers to hire a taxi using social media, Rixar took it a step further with Foursquare.

What's so great about Foursquare? Rixar lays it down quite simply, "It is the same as when you tell your 'real' (not virtual) friends about how good the fish with salsaverde cream is in a restaurant. You might also want to share this kind of information with your friends from Foursquare. People like to be useful." It's true; people love to share opinions and info, and social media's given us so many more opportunities to do so.

Last August he established his Foursquare special offer; if you check-in on Foursquare from his cab, you'll get this message: "You won a 10% discount on your way to the airport of Asturias from Oviedo! This offer also applies to the route if you make a shout to 'TAXIOVIEDO'."  Woo-hoo!

He then spent 24 euros on a vinyl sticker to put on the outside of his cab showing the offer, and tweeted: "Dive now into the experience of discovering your city with @taxioviedo” along with a photo. Within a day, the pic had over a thousand views and was retweeted by bigwigs like Starbucks, the New York Times, MTV, and CNN.

Two days later, Foursquare tweeted this: "Um, Who doesn't want to ride in the @foursquare taxi?" with a link to Taxioviedo and the now infamous photo. Here's when things got crazy. Foursquare has over 300,000 Twitter followers, and boy, were they excited! Within minutes, the pic had 3,000 views and became a worldwide Top Tweet soon after that, with an overwhelmingly positive response.

It just got better. Here's Rixar's timeline:

In short: The 18th September I put a picture of my taxi. The 21st September, between half a million or a million and half people could see my name @taxioviedo and my tweet about the Foursquare taxi. As you might remember the investment was 24 Euros.

This was social media working at its best, thanks to Rixar's detailed planning and organization, as well as his commitment to offer great service in an innovative manner. His efforts snowballed into nearly a hundred interview requests ranging from television, radio, newspapers, and a whole bunch of blogs. "If I had to pay these pages in the newspapers, these posts, those minutes in radio and television I would have spent between 20,000 and 50,000 Euros," says Rixar. Wow.

Aside from all the international love and attention, what's the ROI for all this hard work and innovation? Rixar is now a Foursquare ambassador in Spain, helping other small businesses create special offers and deals using social media. He also speaks at conferences and works with a handful of non-profits. Rixar also puts it this way:

I am happier in my daily work. Those in charge of business analysis claim that workers in companies that succeed are happier. In my opinion it is not exactly like that: it is not the success of a business which attains workers happiness. I believe that if a company provides the conditions or the circumstances under which their employees are happy, the company sooner or later is bound to succeed.

Rixar and his mascot, Azazel the green raccoon

After learning and writing all about Rixar, we're about ready to jump on a plane to Spain just to experience a ride in the world's happiest taxi! Thanks to Rixar for sharing his story with us. If Delivering Happiness has moved you to do something extra-cool with your business or life, we'd love to hear your story too!

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