6 Ways to Use Foursquare to Market Your Business

How your brand can use the location-based check-ins app

Foursquare gives small business owners their own appWhether through promotional offers or coupons, people love saving money; once they obtain a good deal most will share the details with their family and friends. As a local business owner, you can implement a promotional savings campaign within seconds using location-based check-ins application Foursquare, which allows users to “check in” to businesses, leave feedback and provide tips for other users utilizing their mobile device. If you own or operate a brick-and-mortar business or a mobile business like a food truck, this service can be a great way to connect with existing customers, reward loyalty and attract new business.

To start, visit the Foursquare website and claim your business location. If you have more than one location, “you can verify in bulk” so that you don’t have to repeat the process for every location. Next, optimize your profile by adding a brief summary of your business, hours of operation, and finally connect your other social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Once complete, it’s time to devise a solid strategy to use Foursquare for your business. Here, BlackEnterprise.com provides tips to marketing your business on the popular social site:

Create check-in specials

Individuals log in to find specials, discounts and rewards based upon their current geographic location. By setting up check-in specials you can attract foot traffic into your business.

If you’re operating a café, offer a free cup of coffee on your first visit, or if you’re a retailer, perhaps offer a 10% discount on a third visit. Keep in mind, your specials don’t have to be of monetary value. For example, District Comedy in Washington, DC offers drink specials to those that check-in to their weekly Thursday comedy shows.

Host exclusive Foursquare events

Make your customers feel special by creating an exclusive event just for them!  Once the event has been created, designate a day for the check-in-special. To put the icing on the cake, post the upcoming event details on Instagram. Ensure that you write this post while at your location because Instagram utilizes Foursquare data.

Provide tips

Use your account to provide tips about the neighborhood in which your business is located. For instance, if you’re near a popular hotspot, such as a movie theater, you can provide a tip, suggesting users come in before or after the movie.  The increased exposure can help you attract attention and generate leads.

Explore partnerships

Consider partnering with another brand to increase your reach. Local restaurants may want to consider partnering with theaters or museums, or even pet stores with coffee shops, the possibilities are endless. For example, Starwood Hotels partnered with Ticketmaster to offer guests that check in to their hotels for three consecutive nights a $50 Ticketmaster cash code.

Take advantage of mayoral perks

Foursquare users can obtain the distinct honor of becoming the mayor of your location based on how often they check in. To provide incentive for loyal customers to seek the position of mayor, offer specials including discounts, freebies, or special gifts.  Whole Foods in Princeton, New Jersey offers free lunch to their mayor every Friday.

Create badges

While Foursquare offers badges like mayor and adventurer badge, your brand can request custom badges through an online submission form available through the Foursquare business page. Brands like Macy’s, HBO, and Louis Vuitton have all created customized badges. (Keep in mind that creating custom badges has a hefty price tag attached to it.)

If you’ve used Foursquare, or simply need advice for your brand’s Foursquare promotion, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead.

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