What’s With Foursquare? Part II

April 21st, 2010 by | No Comments

photo by MariSheibley

As Foursquare continues to gain popularity, the capabilities are expanding and businesses are learning how to leverage the mobile program and encourage in-store traffic through incentives.

As mentioned in the first article “What’s With Foursquare?” the mobile app is designed to let users notify others when they arrive at a venue. The application has a “game” attached, which allows users to earn badges and mayorships based on their activity and frequency.

So how can it be leveraged for business?

1. Encourage Users to Let Everyone Know

When users check-in at a venue, they are able to let their fellow Foursquare friends know, and they can also link their Twitter and Facebook accounts. If a user checks-in and sends that information to all three of those social networks, that can be a powerful word-of-mouth tool and it should be encouraged! Incentives can be offered by the business to users to broadcast to all their networks. If someone doesn’t have a SmartPhone, why not set up an iPad kiosk and ask them to sign in?!

2. Use the To-Do and Tip Options

To-Do Lists and tips are visible when a user checks-in at a venue. A business can create a To-Do List and offer a tip (which will appear on check-in) and encourage users to complete the To-Do list for an incentive. For instance, a restaurant can tell their users to order something not on the menu (specific item), and if they do it, they will receive a free dessert.

As a tip, be sure to add the most popular or raved about items or services at the business. This will bring that particular product or service to be top-of-mind and encourage users to check these out.

3. Reward the Mayor…and everyone else!

The mayor is the person who frequents (and checks-in to) the venue most often. Using the Foursquare business page, a business owner can set up a reward, which will show up on the user’s device when they are granted mayorship. This is simply a reward for that person being the mayor and visiting the venue as a loyal customer. Foursquare also offers the option of providing a special or promotion for everyone who uses Foursqaure at their venue. The offer appears when a user checks-in and it simply thanks them for visiting with a small reward. Everyone likes a reward for doing what they would normally do!

4. Find Users After They Were There

If you search Twitter and find someone who checked into your venue, thank them! Since Foursqaure integrates with other social outlets, it is easy to track these users down on those networks and send them a friendly note to acknowledge their loyalty. It takes little effort and can reap great rewards…so it’s worth doing!

5. Host a TweetUp or Facebook Fan Party!

Lastly, host a social network event. Host a TweetUp or Facebook Fan party and ask everyone to check-in. Most likely the Twitter and Facebook crowds are active on Foursquare and vice-versa. The TweetUp might cost a few bucks, but it will get more foot traffic (and maybe new foot traffic) into your venue and will fuel the viral effect using multiple social networks. So why not?

Use Foursquare. Get to know Foursquare. Don’t be scared of Foursquare…Embrace it.

Jen Cohen is a social media and marketing maven knocked down many times in 26 yrs. Something Creative

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