I was converted to Foursquare when I got my iPhone last year. I had seen my friends’ check-ins appear on Facebook and used them as recommendations for places I should visit and get involved with. Now that I am on Foursquare, I can see the amazing marketing potential it has for local businesses, so here’s what Foursquare can do for your local business.
1. Social Media Helps Spread the Word
As evidenced by my personal experience, Foursquare gets people to take notice of places they may not have noticed otherwise. I visited restaurants and stores because of my friends’ recommendations, and other people have visited places because I have checked into them. Foursquare allows friends to connect and to give suggestions of places to visit, so you want to make sure your business is on Foursquare so that users can check in.
2. Online Check-ins Encourage Engagement
Because Foursquare users can leave tips at every place they check in, and upload photos, it has become a useful tool for some businesses to build up a good reputation. Obviously, the flip side of this is that people may leave negative tips on your locations, but the positive ones have a lot of sway, and again can encourage more people to check in over time. A restaurant that has a tip and a friend recommendation is more likely to get my business than a restaurant that has no social interactions.
3. People Are Looking for Promotions
Many businesses use Foursquare to host promotions and specials. There are a variety of different things you can do with Foursquare check-ins that harness potential for both the customer and the business. I checked into a thrift shop that offered 15% off my bill if I checked in because they understood that my check in would help them to become more visible to local Foursquare users. In addition, many restaurants offer promotions for the first check-in or for mayorships (having checked in at a place more than anyone else), which again creates incentive for people to check in and visit businesses.
A great way to incentivize people to check in is to post signs about any promotions on Foursquare around your business premises or online. People need to know that they’re going to get a deal for checking in, so promote it! Getting more check-ins will help expand your online presence and get more customers through your doors.
4. Leaving Tips Helps to Establish Your Local Presence
Creating your own business Foursquare location is important, but you can also create a following and community with your own check-ins. Foursquare allows businesses to check in at other local business sites, which allows you to show potential customers that you are invested in the community.
Adding tips to the locations you check in at can establish your business as a local authority, and adding images to your Foursquare check-ins can help users feel that you are useful to them as a consumer. People want to get insider information about what to order at a restaurant, or what to expect from a business, so deliver that to them.
5. Foursquare Connects with Other Social Media Platforms
You can connect your Foursquare with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you can put a Foursquare button on your business website or blog. Foursquare, like other social media networks, is about making yourself valuable to likers and followers, and establishing yourself as a local authority on Twitter and Facebook is going to ultimately increase your reach and sales potential.
Expanding your local business online presence is an important part of getting customers through your doors, so don’t underestimate the power of local marketing and social media. Many people get recommendations from social media, so it is important not to underestimate the power of word of mouth, which Foursquare is quite readily harnessing.
If you’re unsure if your business has a Foursquare location, get online and check. You can register your location by hitting the “add this location” button, and then people will be able to check in and see your company when they are checking into other nearby places. After that, your level of involvement is up to you, but with over 20 million users, Foursquare is no social media slouch, so why not see what it can do for you?
Hamilton, Matt. “5 Ways to Use Foursquare to Get More Business.” Buffer. http://blog.bufferapp.com/5-great-ways-to-use-foursquare-to-get-more-business. (13 May, 2013).
Honigman, Brian. “10 Ways to Market Your Business with Foursquare.” Social Media Examiner. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/foursquare-marketing-tips/. (13 May, 2013).