Many people talk about using foursquare from a consumer perspective, but what advantage does foursquare offer for local businesses? First of all, foursquare is a social network with more than 10 million users. Like most social networks, the strong point of this platform is that people share information with their friends and therefore a simple registration can be transmitted through Facebook, Twitter and the person’s foursquare friends. While not all of these people will be local to your business, it’s a good bet that some are, which is why it’s a form of advertising. Read on to learn how to set up foursquare and leverage it for your business.
If you’re not at all familiar with foursquare, here’s a very quick overview. Basically, people download the free foursquare app on their smartphone and when they reach a destination, they sign in. They accumulate points for registering, bringing friends, repeating business, etc. and take advantage of special offers. They also earn badges that are created by foursquare and keep a bit of a mystery as to how exactly you get them.
Begin with foursquare for local businesses It can be done in 4 easy steps on the foursquare website:
- Set up a foursquare account if you don’t already have one
- Find your place using their search form
- Claim the location of your place
- Verify that you have the authority to manage the venue (by phone or email)
Once it’s set up, foursquare provides you with free tools to promote and manage your presence. One of the best ways to encourage people to sign up and bring their friends is with special offers. Specials are simply offers that you give to new, frequent, or loyal customers when they sign up at your store (called “unlocking” a special).
Here are the categories that specials fall into and some examples:
- Discount: Get 20% off buying one item, get $ 10 off when you spend $ 50
- Free offer: get a free silk tie with the purchase of a suit, get a free bottle of water when you sign up for 3 months at Joe’s Gym
- Special treatment: check-in on foursquare for a behind-the-scenes tour of (kitchen, cellar, special exhibit)
- Reward: free cupcake on 5th visit, free movie rental after 5th visit
Special offers provide a variety of rewards for new business, repeat business, and for bringing your friends. When you’re starting out, consider offering different types of specials across the range to see what works best for your business. People will compete to be the main one for special benefits.
Types of special offers on foursquare for local businesses and some examples:
- Newbie: The first time someone visits, they offer a discount, a free item, etc.
- Friends: bring a friend (or 2 or 3, your choice) and get xxx
- Flash – Similar to a door breaker – first 20 people to sign up get xxx, everyone who signs up within 30 minutes gets xxx
- Swarm – Determine the number of friends it takes to qualify and offer a deal – Bring 20 friends to Sally’s Kitchen and get a free cocktail or drink with your meal purchase
- Check-in: just for showing up: get a 10% discount on the purchase of a blouse or shirt
- Loyalty: offer something free on the fifth visit (or any number)
- Mayor: This is the person with the most searches in your home in the last 60 days. Only one check-in is allowed per day. This is one of your most loyal customers, so get creative – special table, skip the line, private tasting, whatever you think will make that person feel special. You want people to compete for mayor because each registration increases the popularity of your business.
Part of the social appeal is that people can see what their friends are up to when they launch the foursquare app on their mobile phone. What badges do they have, how many points do they have and if they are mayors of something. Also, by using the Explore feature in the app, users can see what’s near them and what tips have been provided about the place. Tips are things that people who have registered with your company have to say about it, for example: “A great place to have lunch” or “Always find something new here.”
There are many advantages to using foursquare. Signing up is free, create free specials, your business appears on Facebook and Twitter timelines, and more. The cost? The only cost is your time to create the special offers and discounts or free items that you provide. It is not a bad compensation. Is it time you joined 250,000+ merchants and started using foursquare for local businesses as part of your mobile marketing?