Whilst a minnow compared with the whale that is Facebook, Foursquare boasts a respectable 30 million members – and an audience of 100 million through partner networks – and a huge amount of data that customers have provided in the form of tips. Whilst primarily associated with venues, all businesses should consider Foursquare as part of their marketing mix.
Venue based businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops and hairdressers can benefit from positive tips as well as promotion of their business when members check-in to other members of Foursquare. In addition, visitors to venues can share their check-in to Facebook and Twitter providing further publicity. You don’t have to be a venue based business to benefit from Foursquare. Any business can create a Foursquare Page and use as a channel to market their business (see Tip 3).
Before setting up Foursquare and taking advantage of the marketing tips below, decide on your objective/s. This could increasing customers, improving customer loyalty, raising awareness, publicising events or all four of these.
1) Claim you venue: Claiming your venue gives you access to many of the features below such as setting up Foursquare Specials. First of all you need to create a personal account at foursquare.com/signup or log in. Then search for your business at foursquare.com/search, then select the name of your business to go to your listing. Then click the “Claim here” link under “Do you manage this location?” at the bottom of the right sidebar.
2) Set up a Foursquare Special: Once you’ve claimed your venue there are 7 different Specials (or offers) you can set up for your customers including a Newbie Special – eg, “Get a free coffee on your first check-in.” or a Check-in Special – eg, “Get 10% off every time you check in.”
3) Set up a Page (all businesses): Whatever type of business you are you can set up and manage a Page which can help you manage your brand and promote your venue. You’ll need a personal account (see Tip 1) before you set up your Foursquare Page.
4) Add Tips with your Page (all businesses): Once you have a Page you can add tips to other venues, but make sure these are helpful. Don’t spam!
5) Promote using window clings: Foursquare provides free stickers which you can place on windows, doors and tills. You’ll be sent some when you claim your venue and you can request more here – Foursquare Window Cling Claim Form.
6) Add Events to your Listing: A little known feature is the ability to add Events for users to check-in to. Great for spreading awareness before and during your event. Select your venue then Tools, then ‘For all locations’ or ‘For a single location’ as appropriate. Then select the appropriate venue, scroll to the bottom of the page and add your Event details.
7) Post Local Updates: You can post Local Updates which appear the the Friend Feed of those who’ve checked into your venue at no cost. Great for publicising offers and events.
8) Use Promoted Updates: Promoted updates (which you have to pay for) provide greater awareness than Local Updates as they allow you to reach people who haven’t checked into your venue. Users using the Explore tab or checking in nearby can view your Promoted Updates.
9) Download the Foursquare for Business app: A Foursquare app focused around the business side of Foursquare allows you to post specials, upload photos and see who’s at your venue and view analytics. Download on iPhone and Android.
10) Measure (all businesses): Check your progress against objectives by using the Foursquare Dashboard. You can view information on check-ins, activity, people who have checked in and redemption of Specials.
If you’d like to know more about Foursquare, come along to wearesocialclub tomorrow (26 June 2013) in Cheltenham, where Leighton Evans will be giving a short talk on this exciting location based service.