Millions of people use foursquare to check in to their favorite venues,
keep up with where their friends are and explore new places. It's #4sqDay and
many businesses will miss the opportunity to connect with potential customers
because they don't promote their business on foursquare. While Facebook and
Twitter offer brands ways to engage with people who already follow them,
foursquare is a better tool for marketing to people who do not already follow
Often times when I am traveling I'll use the explore option in
foursquare. I can see local businesses who are active and those who offer
specials. That's right – they're offering specials that I can cash in on. An
example we all could relate to was a special being offered by a gas station in
a town I stopped in to refuel. I was able to save several dollars from what I
would have paid to competitors in the area and got a free car wash. What a
great opportunity to market to potential consumers! Many consumers have their
foursquare accounts linked to their Twitter accounts and every time they check in, they
mention your brand to all their followers. Raise your hand if you think free
advertising is a good thing!
So now you're asking yourself how you can promote your business on
foursquare. There are many options, depending on what type of business you
operate. If you don't really have physical locations for people to check in to,
then you might consider creating a brand page. You can update followers on
great things about your brand, similar to Twitter updates. Brands without
locations can also team up with venues that do have physical locations to help
promote their brand through partner badges. These badges are rewards to
customers for unlocking locations and other specials.
Brands with physical locations can also take advantage of badges and
brand pages, but having a venue available for customers to check in can offer
businesses unlimited marketing possibilities. I'll cover just a few, but you
can always visit Foursquare Brand Platform for more information.
Now that you've created your brand page, you'll want to see if
customers have already created venues for your physical locations. If there are
some already out there, you can claim them as your own and start managing them.
The next step is to create foursquare venues for the rest of your locations. After
you've created and claimed all your venues, the next step is to decide if there
is a special you want to offer your customers. One of my favorite restaurants
offers a free desert with every foursquare check in. The next time you're at
Baumhower's Restaurant, check in on foursquare and get a free ½ order of Beignets.
Other examples might include rewards for customers checking in to a sports event, music fest, or
other event. Even nonprofits can promote on foursquare using branded pages,
partnership badges, and by offering specials for charitable donations.
So what's the big deal about people checking in to your venues anyway?
Brand awareness and special offers can really drive foot traffic to your
locations, increasing revenue. Manager tools offered by foursquare help
businesses to understand when customers are checking in, what specials increase
foot traffic and demographics of your customer base. All of these things are
important factors in developing your marketing campaign.
McDonald's offered a promotion centered around Foursquare Day and had
great results. They offered gift cards of $5 and $10 to 100 randomly chosen
customers for a #4sqDay campaign at all of its locations. A major increase in
foot traffic was noted, with a 33% increase in check-ins on the day of the
campaign and a 40% increase in check-ins the following week. McDonald's gained
more than 600,000 new fans and followers and received the attention of more
than 50 articles and blogs. You can read more about their case here:
There are many social media marketing agencies that are more than eager
to help you get started with your foursquare adventure. Find one you're comfortable
with and dig in. The benefits can be quite rewarding. Happy #4sqDay!