Foursquare is not just a game you used to play at recess anymore.  It is also a location based social networking application that is worth paying attention to.  As of December 2013, there are over 45 million people on Foursquare with over 1.5 billion total check-ins and millions more every day.  As far as businesses go, there are over 1.3 million using the Merchant Platform (i.e. they have claimed and are managing their location).

Great… so what does it DO?

It allows people to use their smart phone to ‘check-in’ at your location notifying their friends that they have arrived at your place of business (FREE ADVERTISING).  They can add photos and tips i.e. “Try the pink lemonade”, or “The special today is amazing”= (ENGAGED CUSTOMERS).

A Foursquare user gets points and badges for checking in at places and is then rated among the friends they are connected to.  The more active you are; the more points and badges you get.  This encourages people to check-in wherever they go.  Not everyone is a Foursquare user, but those who are tend to be quite active.

Why should a business know about this?

Foursquare can help a business in a variety of ways, the top three reasons being that it will:

  1. Help you attract new customers
  2. Develop a stronger connection with loyal customers
  3. Enhance your SEO

Not to mention it is easy to get started.  Once you have claimed your venue you can setup a campaign to offer a ‘check-in special’ (similar to Facebook Deals).

Foursquare has great analytics to help you track your deals and evaluate which is getting more traction with your target market.

 

So…. what if my business doesn’t have a location?

Great question.  You can setup a Brand Page and still gain exposure by creating tips at different places.  When others check in to those places, they will see your tips.  My favorite example of this is when I go traveling and check-in at different attractions and I see tips with great information from the History channel.  You are only limited by your creativity.

To get started on Foursquare, click here.

I hope this was helpful and as always, if you have any additional questions along the way let me know.

~Amy Alcorn
amy@aspengrovemarketing.com
Marketing Director
Aspen Grove Marketing
970-599-1108