There is no doubting that Social Media is here to stay, you can either embrace it as another marketing tool to connect with the more savvy internet generation, or ignorantly ignore it and get left behind by your competitors. One of the biggest players in the Social Media game is undoubtedly Foursquare.
What is Foursquare?
Foursquare is a location-based social application that combines local city mapping, social interaction, and gaming. Foursquare allows consumers to use their mobile phone to Check-In at retail businesses. Anyone and everyone can use Foursquare. Foursquare users check-in at local businesses that they frequent during their daily routine. For instance, you can check-in at your local Target, Woolworths, the local tailor, or even your local Deli. If you go to check-in at a certain place, and it’s not listed in foursquare, then go ahead and add it yourself. By checking-in, users unlock badges, accumulate points, and also claim Mayorship over certain businesses.
How can this help my Business?
Foursquare users like any social network have an inner circle of friends. When someone checks in all their friends get a notification that they have checked in at your store. Once checked in, users can add comments, photos and interact with their circle of friends about the check in. This can have a positive effect if the user posts a good experience at your store, or maybe they promote a special they picked up or a product they just purchased! Foursquare is also very easily integrated into Facebook, therefore not only do their Foursquare friends hear about your store but so do their Facebook friends as well!
The social interaction the user can engage in is not the only positive effect. Business owners may apply to on Foursquare to register themselves as the business owner. Once verified as the business owner you are able to set specials or incentives for people to Check-In to your store! Once registered you will also get an Official Foursquare location sticker to put on your door/window. This lets everyone know they can check in to receive specials!
You may run a special that gives the mayor a discount or some sort of incentive that other users do not receive. If you run a Coffee store for example, you may offer the Mayor buy one coffee and receive a slice of cake for free per day. This has the potential to bring in many other customers to “compete” for the mayorship! So whilst you may be giving out a slice of Cake for free each day you would be generating more business through the door!
Every Check-In Special
You may simply wish to give every member that checks into your store a benefit as each check-in is basically free advertising for you to that users circle of friends! You could offer 10% off any purchase to anyone that Checks In.
Loyalty Check-In Special
You may wish to reward your frequent customers. For example, you may wish to offer $10 off any purchase on a customers 5th Check-In. Bare in mind the customer may very well not purchase anything in the first 4 check-in’s. But whether they are buying products or not, they are still advertising your business for free with each check in!
How will users know I have a special on Foursquare?
When a user checks in to any location, they will get a notification of how many specials there are close to their location. They can bring up a google map which pin points all the specials near them. This is especially great for those stores located in or near shopping centres. As there are so many businesses located so close to each other, each check-in at any store will result in the ability of your special being seen.
Foursquare was founded in March 2009 and currently has over 8.5 Million users. It is showing no sign of slowing down and is one of the big players in the Social Media world, so embrace this application as another means to generate business and awareness for your company!