Winning With Foursquare

With well over 20 million users (and counting), Foursquare is a giant in location-based social media, and it’s a tool nearly all brick-and-mortar merchant should consider using. This simple, yet high functioning and very useful app enables smartphone users to interact socially with their chosen contacts, seeking and providing feedback on local restaurants, service providers, and other businesses. It’s a method through which consumers are choosing to be marketed to; is your brand listening?

How It Works
Nearly half of all American adults carry smartphones. With so many millions of them choosing to use location-based apps for social recommendations on everything from burritos to veterinarians, it not only makes sense for merchants to monitor what’s being said about their businesses on this platform, but it also makes Foursquare, especially after its recent consumer-friendly redesign, a great avenue for location-based marketing.

As a merchant, when you sign up for Foursquare, you’ll interact directly with Foursquare to verify that you are, indeed, a valid representative of the given business or brand. Then your business can start posting status updates, much like you may already do for your company’s Facebook page or Twitter account. You can share photos of new products, text about daily activities or specials, and even push that data right to your other social media streams.

Consumers will begin to “like” your business and will “check in” when they visit. When they’ve done this a few times, they’re considered fans, and they’ll automatically get your updates in their newsfeed whenever you post. And because it’s location-based, you can also post daily specials that will notify nearby fans of what’s happening. For example, you can announce that there’s a coffee flavor of the day or free samples from 2-4pm. It’s important to use photos as much as possible in these updates, as this really increases user engagement.

Once you’ve gotten a feel for Foursquare, you can start creating, “specials” for your Foursquare page. These include things like discounts, freebies, and digital punch cards. Local users will see a feed of the nearby specials on their phones, so when they’re looking for a great lunch spot, it’s worth having a “Free appetizer with entrée” special listed for your page to bring in foot traffic.

Seeing Results
One of the best things about Foursquare is that merchants can easily see what’s working and what’s not through the Merchant Dashboard:

• View the total number of daily check-ins.
• Know who your most recent and frequent visitors are.
• See the gender breakdown of your Foursquare-using customers.
• Learn what times of day you’re seeing the most Foursquare traffic.
• Use this data in developing a strategy for the types of specials and updates to post, who to target, and how to market most effectively to those most likely to buy from you.

Are you using Foursquare? We want to hear from you about what works, what doesn’t, and how you use this tool to drive business. Looking to build up your social media following? Give us a call for a thorough consultation.