Foursquare continues to gain momentum in both the US and UK although growth is faster in the former. A recent survey of 2200 US restaurants by Restaurant Sciences showed that 86% of chain restaurants and 72% of independent restaurants have a presence on Foursquare.
All Foursquare’s features such as being able to set up special offers and campaigns are currently free and provide a great opportunity for venue based businesses to attract customers through their doors. In addition, managers of venues have access to a dashboard that provides metrics on visitors and campaigns.
A new tool in the form of ‘promoted updates’ and ‘promoted specials’ is currently being piloted by chains and independents in the US and will soon be available to businesses small and large. This is Foursquare’s first attempt at obtaining revenue through their service. Promoted updates will work in a similar way to promoted tweets on Twitter and promoted posts on Facebook.
They build on last month’s launch of ‘local updates‘ which enable businesses to send messages to regular customers. Promoted updates will appear at the top of the Explore tab on the Foursquare tab and provide a way for venue owners to highlight tips left by customers and specials.
How users will react will be clearer after the pilot but on the face of it these are far removed from display ads. They’ll make use of the algorithm currently used to display recommendations so will be personalised for the user. My guess is that they won’t be deemed to be intrusive and users will like them.
Pricing will be decided after the pilot and the new feature will be available in the app within a few weeks.
To learn more about Foursquare and how it can help your business give me a call on 01242 332016 or email me.