Foursquare is a location-based social networking service that allows its users to “check in” at a place (such as a restaurant or office) using a smartphone or other mobile device. When someone checks in, the user’s Foursquare followers will see it in their friend updates (the list of recent updates you see when you log in to foursquare), and users can opt to post check-ins on Twitter and Facebook. As such, Foursquare provides you with “word-of-mouth” type of exposure that can help you reach new customers.
What Can Foursquare Do For You?
When you put your business on Foursquare, users will be able to see it as a nearby venue from the Foursquare app on their mobile devices. They’ll also be able to read Tips (which are essentially comments) that other Foursquare users have posted when they select your location on the virtual map. Foursquare users are able to see what locations are most popular with their friends, so one person’s Foursquare patronage can lead to interest from other users. The service helps promote multiple visits by giving users points and badges for performing specific activities.
For example, the person that checks in for the most days in a 60-day time period is given a crown as the “Mayor” of the location.
A Special Use
Besides letting people check in to your establishment, you can also use Foursquare to reward customers with special deals. For example, you could offer a 10% discount to customers on every fifth check-in as a loyalty reward, or a first-time check-in discount to get Foursquare users interested in visiting your business. You can even create a group special, such as when 10 people check in at once, to drive several customers into the store. Just make sure that employees know about the deals, so they know to honor them at checkout.
The Merchant Dashboard
To help you learn more about the type of customers that check in to your business with Foursquare, you can look at the built-in Merchant Dashboard. Just claim your business and Foursquare will automatically begin recording your most frequent check-ins; break down the gender of your customers; indicate what times of the day people are checking in, and tell you what percentage of check-ins are being simultaneously sent to Facebook and Twitter. Another cool feature is the ability to analyze the results of your special offers by viewing the Foursquare traffic before, during, and after the campaign.
Your business may not have a venue for all the different locations where you want to offer specials for those that check in. For instance, let’s say that you want to improve how your brand sells at a given store. You could partner with the retail location to offer a special deal for Foursquare users that purchase your product from the retailer. A Foursquare Brand page can have followers, and from your Brand page, the followers can see tips about a given location. You can configure your brand to provide followers with a badge (that appears on the follower’s wall) if they checkin to a given amount of different locations featuring your brand.
Use some of these quick tips to smartly build your Foursquare location or brand.
- Do claim your business on Foursquare.
- Do create storefront signage that lets customers know they can find the location on Foursquare, which will help build up visitors.
- Do create a special deal and analyze its impact through the Merchant Dashboard.
- Don’t forget to inform employees about Foursquare deals because you’ll want workers to honor the specials.
- Don’t give away products or services too cheaply. Make Foursquare users earn the special deals for check-ins.
- Don’t overlook the Merchant Dashboard to analyze who’s checking in at your business.