If you are a business with a physical presence, you will want to check out Foursquare. Foursquare is not the game that you played in grade school but a Location Based Service (LBS) that keeps track of the users whereabouts and lets users “friends” know where they are at a given time. Foursquare started out a little over a year ago and quickly grew as a result of the growing mobile web app market, by word-of-mouth and by using social media. In over one year, Foursquare has aggregated over 725,000 users with over 1.4 million venues with 1200+ offering specials and 22 million+ check-ins, and it is growing everyday. There is no question that Location Based Marketing is an up-and-coming way to market your business. If you are a location-based business with customers with mobile web phone capabilities here are some things you can do if you are a business participating on Foursquare:
1. Listen: With any social media tool the number one rule of thumb is to listen to your customers. Customers are the key to a successful business and they will leave both good and bad feedback. This feedback can translate into improvements, ideas and innovation to your business. Foursquare users can integrate Foursquare to their Facebook and Twitter feeds to leave their “check-ins” and “shout-outs”. Businesses can monitor these statuses with social monitoring applications like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
2. Reward Mayors: Competition is fierce in the game aspect of Foursquare- there are badges to be acquired, the title of “Mayor” to be won. Being a “Mayor” is a big thing to some and those people get protective over their status. This leads to frequency and loyalty of your business. Some businesses give special treatment/rewards to their Mayors.
3. Offer Discounts or Incentives: Another way some businesses have capitalized on Foursquare is to reward their frequenters with discounts and free things. By knowing that someone checked into Foursquare you are able to reward him or her by being a customer (Foursquare users show their mobile screen with check-in info). You can become an official foursquare venue partner if you are a business where people meet, socialize and linger (cafes, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, theaters, etc.) Those offers are submitted by using this form and when approved by foursquare these offers will appear on the website and will pop up when someone checks into or near your location.
4. Track Customers: Foursquare is a great way to track the people that “check-in” to your business. This is a great way to place a face to a name. Tip: If your business is not currently listed, you can easily add your business to Foursquare.
5. Create Evangelists: Foursquare lets you leave tips for your friends using their “Add a Tip/To Do Feature“, this lets them discover new places and things to experience while at that location. Also, with Foursquare’s “shoutout” feature users have been to known to express their love for the location by broadcasting the message their friends. This exposure leaves the location top of mind.
As you can see there are many ways to use Foursquare to gather feedback and promote your business. There will be even more ways to use Foursquare to promote your business in the future. Foursquare recently partnered with Microsoft’s Bing Maps to feature Foursquare. Foursquare tips and comments will soon pull up on Bing Maps using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology. We can’t wait to see this integration take place. If you have used Foursquare for your business, how has it worked for you? Please leave a comment if you have had good or bad experience on Foursquare, we’d love to hear them.