One of the more recent and popular mobile applications, Foursquare has become part friend-finder, part social city-guide, and part interactive game. It encourages users to explore their neighborhood and rewards them for doing so. It is an application that is designed to allow people to “check in” at current location.
How to Use Foursquare for Business
People use Foursquare to check in at a variety of different of places, including their homes, parks, offices, restaurants, bars, cafés, and numerous other businesses and locations.
The idea is to allow individuals to share their favorite spots with friends. Because of this, Foursquare is a terrific application for viral marketing, and can be used to encourage word-of-mouth referrals by your loyal customers. Here’s how that works:
You should use Foursquare to offer promotions for customer loyalty, such as offering something for free to any customer that checks in three times in a given week or writes a positive review for your business. The service makes offering these types of so-called “Foursquare specials” easy by providing tools to allow businesses to automatically fulfill or unlock the Foursquare special. (For example: Foursquare says you have been here 3 times this week, that earns a free appetizer!; Foursquare users get 15% off their order for every 7th check in!).
Foursquare operates like a game, as users gain points for checking in, adding a new venue, repeat visits, etc. The points are measured by venue, as well as a whole. Businesses should encourage customers to check in by providing value for the number of points gained, such as offering to donate an amount per point to a specific charity, or by allowing users to earn discounts in relation to the number of points they have accrued.
The user who has the most points for a specific venue is designated as the “mayor” of that location. Because of this, many businesses choose to offer something of a greater value to the member who becomes the mayor of their business location, such as a gift certificate or a discount. Many users are very competitive over the “mayor” status and this “battle” can translate into increased exposure, and more importantly, profits for your business.
To Do Lists
Consider creating a “to-do” list for users. A Foursquare to-do list operates very much like a contest or scavenger hunt. You would create a to-do list based on aspects of your business you want to promote, such as your new product line, or a new service. When a user completes the to-do list, you could award him the same way you would award the “mayor” – by providing a complimentary item or service.
Finally, consider making everyone a winner by offering an upgrade for free to anyone who checks in, (and shows they did to the cashier) or by offering a discount to everyone in the store when the analytics show that 100 people have checked in at your store or place of business.
Participating in social interactive and gamification services like FourSquare can be a huge part of growing your business presence in the eyes of internet dependent local consumers.
The most effective online marketing strategy includes being findable in multiple places when consumers are looking for your product or service locally.
Does your business use Foursquare?