By: Luis Borba
Total Users: 15 million (as of December, 2011)
Number of Daily Visitors: 2.2 million (as of February 14, 2012)
Since Foursquare launched in March of 2009, other similar services such as Facebook Places and Google Latitude have come into the fold. Location-based social networking services are booming because of the rapid growth of smartphone usage along with the mobile web. Word-of-mouth is no longer relegated to phone calls, emails and committing recommendations to memory. They can all be done with today’s latest communications gadgets. As a business, you can take advantage of Foursquare’s services to acquire more customers and increase revenue.
Foursquare users can log into the website and plot their locations and business recommendations, but the real magic lies in the mobile app. No longer are your potential customers chained to their computers. They now have the power of a mobile app for discovering different businesses wherever they go. Your business is one of them.
Foursquare determines users’ locations by using the GPS coordinates from their mobile phones. It then shows a list of nearby venues and their promotions. It’s like a digital phonebook with the added ability of being able to see your friends’ recommendations and reviews.
Rewarding Your Customers: As a promotional tool for your business, Foursquare is like a virtual sticker book. It gives its users points and badges for completing specific tasks like visiting an establishment for the first time (or after a number of times).
Check In, Cash Out: Whenever a user checks in to an establishment, their friends (followers) are notified via the app. The same goes for reviews and such. How does this benefit your business? When someone writes a review about a business, chances are that their followers will certainly check it out too.
It’s Deal-Time: Nothing gets a customer’s attention quicker than a deal. Whether a buy-one-get-one-free, or a first-time discount, people like deals, and are willing to try something new if the deal is attractive enough. Don’t think of it as making less money on sales, it’s incremental volume from enticing a new customer to become a regular customer.
1. Claim your Foursquare merchant venue
2. Add company info to your Foursquare profile
3. Create a special: discount, freebie, exclusive access. This will entice customers to check out your business.
4. Advertise your Foursquare presence with signage
5. Send out tweets and update your Facebook status; include links to your Foursquare profile page
6. Analyze your results with Foursquare’s merchant dashboard
Like any social media endeavour to promote your business and increase your customer base, the efforts are perpetual. It’s effort worth doing. You WILL see results, and those results are more customers, increased sales and business success.