6 ways to optimize your business with Foursquare

foursquare-logoWhat is the hottest mobile trend for 2010? The answer seems obvious. It’s Foursquare, the Twitter of 2010, the leading location-based social network which, with a game aspect, encourages people to explore their neighborhoods via their smartphones, share their visits with local attractions, events and businesses and gives them rewards when they do so.

Further than that, Foursquare, which in April 2010 reached a million users in just over a year of existence, is driving new online strategies for businesses. It offers them multiple ways to attract customers and gain qualitative and quantitative feedback on their establishment. If you own a “physical” retail business such as a shop, a restaurant, a bar, a hotel, etc,. find 6 ways to use Foursquare in order to boost your sales and increase your customers’ loyalty:

1. Are you listed?

First thing to do is visit Foursquare website and search for your business to see if it is already listed. If yes, make sure the information presented is correct and complete. You will need to create a personal account in order to correct your information or add your business.

2. Offer “Specials”!

Businesses can offer discounts or special offers to reward people who “check-in” their establishment and develop stronger relationships with their customers. There are many ways to treat your customers with Specials: Some of them are the “check-in specials” that help you reward the customers that reach a specific number of visits or the “frequency-based specials”.

3. Give tips!

You can give your customers tips in order to enhance their experience within your business. If you own a restaurant, you can leave tips about the day specials, the best time to come for a drink, the things to do in your establishment, etc. It is definitely a fun and creative way to attract customers!

4. Learn about your business

FourSquare offers business analytics that makes it possible for business owners to see how customers interact within their businesses. Additionally it helps them improve their services, since they can read the reviews about what customers like, what tips and comments they leave, understand their needs etc.

5. Reward Mayors!

The person who “checks_in” the more frequently in your business in a period of two months, reaches the “Mayor” status. Offer the Mayor something really special to reward him for his loyalty, like “free drinks” or give him the power to be a creative part of your team by choosing the music you will play or a theme for a special night, etc. Not only you will make your Mayor happier, but also you will increase the competition amongst your customers in order to de-throne the current mayor and take his/her place!  

6. Interact with your customers

Foursquare gives you the opportunity to get closer than ever with your customers, since, not only you will discover your best customer by checking his Mayor status, but through the game, you will interact with all your customers and acquire a friendly reputation.

Most of all, always keep in mind that Foursquare is a game which gives businesses the chance to be creative and build relationships with the customers. If you adopt the Foursquare philosophy, your customers will inevitably talk about your business and reward you back for your services.

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  • Gennia Holder

    I’ve visited several local restaurants (as a customer) where the owners aren’t taking advantage of Foursquare because they don’t really understand how it works, yet their customers are already checking-in. Once they know how it works and the benefits for their business, they’re ready to get on board.

    Your article really does a great job of breaking it down into easy steps they can follow
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Case Ernsting

    I’m a marketing manager at a web design firm and we advise clients to implement Foursquare due to the highly engaging nature that you covered above. For some reason, they refuse to see the light. This post will help me explain the process better though. Thanks!

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  • Jen Gaffney

    Not to be nitpicky, but you misspell “mayor” as “major” twice in the article. You might want to fix that so readers don’t get confused about FourSquare Majors.

    Another reason for businesses to get listed on FourSquare is that the venue pages show up in SERPs. It’s always a good idea to own as many listings for your business name as possible!

  • Dave Stopher

    I have used four square for the last couple of months and found it to be brilliant.

    I think that you could easily use this for a event that you may be hosting. for example stands for internet world.

  • Dionne

    Just like all social media, one must spend time in the environment to uncover it’s benefits. I think business owners will begin to catch on more and more.

  • Alexis

    So funny, I just wrote a blog post today about why I want businesses using social media, with a focus on Foursquare!


    Alexis Lamster
    VP of Customers
    Postling.com — social media management for small businesses

  • Angie Schottmuller

    Good post to help the newbies! I would add “Promote Badge Opportunities”. People are crazed about collecting more badges. Pointing out opportunities and planning specific events for earning badges feeds people’s competitive nature, and in turn helps drive traffic to your business.

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  • Michelle Licudine

    Good post, thanks! I’d add that rewarding the mayor is great for loyalty and repeat business, but not necessarily for new customers. So, depending on your goals and resources, you may not be able to drive both.

    How much time would you recommend spending on interacting with customers? I’ve read that at a minimum, 25% of an FTE’s time should be spent on social media…is that enough? How would you divide that among Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook?

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  • Stuart

    Hi – a great summary/review of foursquare, I have recently started to use foursquare and am finding it a great way forward for business promotion, there are many aspects to the set-up that are fun too! :-)

  • Ronny Granai

    I am aiming to break into the business of search engine optimization. Have you thought about teaching your techniques one-to-one? Do you think you could be some sort of tutor?

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  • London Removals

    I feel like i have been living in the dark ages, because I am now only just realizing how important it is to utilize social media such as twitter, facebook and foursquare for businesses.

  • Hair Extensions chicago

    Thank you for the info on 4 square. Still learning about social media. I discovered our business was not listed on Four Square and will begin using it right away. Thank You.

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  • Print your own t-shirt

    These are very much the kind of tricks whihc we have begun to out in place as it has become more crucial than ever to think in a B2B and B2C mentality!

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