Foursquare is the leading location-based social network, allowing users and their friends to “check in” at locations around the world. This could be anywhere from a restaurant to a sporting event; no matter what it is, Foursquare has it covered. While this social network may come across as undesirable and gimmicky to some, its 33 million users show that there is certainly an appreciative niche. And as with any popular social network, it has plenty of marketing potential.
Foursquare’s unique existence among social networks is mainly contingent on what it expects from its users. The users of this social network are active by physically going somewhere, as opposed to other networks like Facebook and Twitter, which focus more on what users are saying, not doing.
Although it offers plenty of opportunity for users to put in their two cents – like tips or a review of a specific restaurant or venue – there is only one way for users to gain points: by checking into various venues. Foursquare’s points and badges system provides an incentive for users to be active.
With it’s unique features and activity-driven perks, it’s practical to wonder about its marketing potential. Several businesses have flourished on this network due to their participation on the social network, primarily using the strategies below:
Claim Your Business and Its Location
First, business owners need to confirm representation of their business and its location on Foursquare before any marketing strategies can be utilized. To do this, download Foursquare and search for your business. If nothing comes up, scroll to the bottom of the list and click ‘Add this place.’ Follow the on-screen tutorial, and enter the relevant information. If your business is already listed, click ‘Do you manage this venue? Claim here.’
The most important aspect of this registration process is filling out your profile, which consists of uploading a profile photo and listing your name, location and phone number. Make this relevant to your business, and provide information that’s useful for potential visitors.
Launch a Foursquare Page
Foursquare pages can be used by businesses with both single and multiple locations, though they are especially useful for the latter. Rather than being contingent on a business’s location, a page on this network is about the business itself. You can set up a Foursquare page for your business.
The page will then act as a hub for your business, where you can add tips, lists, photos and even more detailed information about your business. Using it collaboratively with your single or multiple Foursquare locations can prove especially useful.
Offer Foursquare Discounts
Foursquare discounts are a trendy way to get your business buzzing on Foursquare. Business owners can provide discounts based on others’ activity, like how often a user checks in. For bigger turnouts, businesses can offer something like “50% off for the first 20 Foursquare users that check in!” To encourage user loyalty, a discount can be provided for every few times a user checks in. It’s up to your business entirely.
Add Foursquare Buttons to Your Website
To promote your business’s presence on this social network, consider placing a ‘Like’ button or ‘Save to Foursquare’ button on your business’s web site. With this, users can like your Foursquare page directly from your site. And when these users are near your location, they’ll receive a push notification reminding them of their interest. Soon enough, you may have several new customers, all because of a simple Foursquare button.
Encourage Customers to Provide Feedback
In addition to a concisely effective bio, relevant contact information and engaging pictures, a business’s Foursquare location page shows a rating system where users can rate the business on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best. Similar to offering discounts for Foursquare activity, businesses can provide incentives to users for rating their business on this social network, no matter what the score.
For example, Commerce Casino’s Foursquare page has a great rating out of over 500 reviews, which helps drive new customers to their casino. Some users fairly assert that a Foursquare score is more reliable than Yelp, since this reviews typically come from users who visit a business on more than one occasion.
By offering their Foursquare followers tips and incentives, businesses can thrive using Foursquare for marketing purposes. Users may already be checking into your business’s location on this social network, so it’s never too early for you to begin infusing Foursquare into your marketing plan. With over 33 million users, Foursquare is a rich social media platform with plenty of marketing potential. Businesses would be wise to take advantage of it.