5 Reasons Why You Should Market Your Business Using Foursquare

by Michelle Salater on May 10, 2010


There’s been a ton of buzz circulating about foursquare and its marketing success in real-world situations. Everything from Chicago’s tourism industry to Jimmy Choo and from burger joints to The History Channel have benefited from foursquare’s unique marketing features.

Using mobile devices, foursquare users can travel around cities, looking for interesting places to eat, drink, listen to music, relax, and enhance their cultural horizons. Foursquare enables your company to participate in this entertaining form of communication while reaching new markets and engaging with current customers and prospective ones.

Granted, I find it a bit creepy that people want to share everything they’re doing with millions of people they don’t know. However, there are tangible benefits to joining the foursquare community.

1. U.S. smartphone / 3G mobile users are rapidly increasing:

As more and more people use their mobile phones to search the Internet, read emails, shop, watch videos, and Google Chat on the go, your business can take advantage of this marketing opportunity and can reach a new pool of consumers. In fact, according to a study performed by Morgan Stanley, 96% of mobile users in Japan have 3G coverage and 46% of U.S. mobile users have 3G coverage. How can your business cater to the 3G user market? foursquare.

Live feed on foursquare homepage

Specifically designed for mobile phones, foursquare enables its users to receive badges after checking in to certain locations and to receive coupons and specials from the locations they check into.

2. Reward customers with foursquare promotions and specials to encourage purchases:

Businesses who want to reward customers for their loyalty can use one of foursquare’s exceptional programs to offer deals, specials, and promotions. For example, if a spa wanted to reward their most loyal customers, they could offer a special to foursquare users that would allow them to receive 50% off their next spa service if they checked into that spa (on foursquare) five times. “You checked into our spa five times. Receive 50% off on your next spa service.”

Once the user checks into the spa for the fifth time, he or she will unlock this spa special and be able to use it on his or her next spa purchase.

Another benefit foursquare offers to businesses that feature specials on the platform is their notification system, which works in two ways:

1. If a foursquare user signs into your venue, foursquare will inform him or her of any specials you are currently offering to foursquare participants.

2. If a foursquare user is signed into a venue (such as a restaurant or bar) down the block from your venue and doesn’t offer foursquare specials, foursquare will inform him or her that your restaurant does offer specials.

3. Track your success:

For businesses that offer foursquare specials, they will be able to track how well these specials perform using foursquare’s analytics system. And the best part about the analytics is that they are updated in real time. Businesses can instantly see their most recent visitors, most frequent visitors, time of day people check in, total number of unique visitors, demographic statistics of customers, and how many of the check-ins were shared with Facebook and Twitter friends.

4. See your customers and prospects face-to-face:

Foursquare is taking people out of their offices and homes to network outside of the traditional social media realm. In fact, foursquare is one of the first social media sites to incorporate social media with face-to-face communication in the real world. Foursquare users must physically be at your establishment in order to check into it on foursquare. This means, you get to meet all of these social media users and connect with them in person.

5. Develop engaging, long-lasting relationships with customers:

What’s one of the number one benefits you hear of when it comes to marketing your business using social media? It helps you build relationships with customers and prospects. Foursquare does just that, but takes customers one step closer to you: your store.

Using foursquare’s analytics, you can see when new customers come in, build relationships with your most frequent foursquare customers, and reach new markets. And when you offer specials to your foursquare users, you’re allowing customers to feel as though they are rewarded for visiting your establishment.

Do you use foursquare? What do you think of it? We’d love to hear your comments.


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  • florenceharidan

    Great post, like the level of research ya added to it. Well executed!!

    I am going to have ot check this out.. headed to NY for a small vaca, and will love this! Totally supports spur of the moment needs… especially a cocktail after a long day of museums!!

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