Apr 252013

Image: FoursquareThis part of our "Getting Started" series, we're going to discuss Foursquare.  I know a great many of you likely haven't heard of this Social networking application before. Wikipedia says the following about Foursquare:

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users "check in" at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes "badges".

Foursquare is available on all major smartphones, such as Android, iOS Devices, Windows Phone, Blackberry and even PlayStation Vita.  Other Mobile devices can also "Check-in" via the FREE Navigation Software "Waze".

What makes Foursquare so attractive is that not only is it fun for end users, but also a great marketing tool for business owners. Business owners (primarily retail and restaurants) offer 'Specials' to people who check-in at their location as a reward.  Remember, these Specials are also "Incentives" for the customer. Not just to check-in, but to return, and become a loyal customer. There are a number of options to select from:

  • Swarm Special - When a certain number of folks check-in, "X" special becomes available. Example: "If 10 people check-in at once, each receive a free appetizer"
  • Newbie Special - Provided to users on their very first check-in.  Example: "Hey! This is your first check-in at "Sally's Fine Clothing" you receive 10% off your bill."
  • Check-in Special - Usually a time limited promotion that would be given to anyone who may check-in within the special promotional period. Example: "Receive a free cookie when you check-in"

NOTE: All of the above allow for fine print to be entered, which is viewable by the customer. Conditions such as "Available on check-in and an additional purchase of $10 or more".  Further note that all specials are reviewed by Foursquare before they  go active. This is to make sure that you are properly covered. If you are going to create a special, and are uncertain on how to do it, please feel free to contact us. We are Foursquare Superusers (Admins) and Ambassadors, and are well versed in the use of Foursquare for Business.

One of the other great ways that Foursquare allows business owners to attract business,  is to reward your loyal customers.  You have a customer who comes by 2-3 times a week. Wouldn't it be great to reward them? This is like an electronic version of the "Punchcard" marketing technique, where customers receive a card, which is punched at every visit.

  • Loyalty Special - Allows to you reward all your loyal customers for checking in on Foursquare.  Example: "Receive a free muffin every 5th check-in.
  • Mayor Special - The "Mayor" is the one customer you have who has checked-in the most number of times of the past 60 days.  A lot of locations see being the Mayor as a bit of a contest.  Example: "Our Mayor receives 20% off their entire bill!" or "The Mayor receives special VIP treatment when they come in for a Mani/Peti. This creates a lot of competition to see who can be Mayor, which means higher sales for you.

What makes these Specials so important is when a user in your immediate geographic area and looking for locations, sites with Specials are moved to the top of the list, and are VERY visible.

The current Foursquare application has a dedicated area for sites that have current and active Specials. Further to this, while browsing in their current georgraphical area, sites will specials are listed first, and have a "Special" tag associated with them. Making them very visible to your potential customer.

What does a Special look like?

Image: Foursquare Reward

Example reward for location Mayor

  1. Type of Special
  2. Text of Special - what the customer may receive
  3. Special showing as "Unlocked".  A locked special will not show this. Usually a padlock icon is visible to show "Locked" or "Unlocked" specials.
  4. Fine print. Include further details about your offer, and any conditions that may apply.

Signing up

End User:

Getting started with Foursquare is really as simple as downloading the FREE Foursquare app from the devices software store. Creating an account is simply a matter of answering a couple of questions, and you're all set.


Start off by visiting Foursquare's Business Claim page. You will either need to log in, or sign up if you do not already have an account. From here, you'll go through a series of verification steps to prove that you are the "official" representative of the business.  When you've finished the claiming process, you will have access to a great number of free tools to help build your up your online site.  One of the best tools is the ability to analyze your check-ins with history, and analytics.

How would you see your business using Foursquare?

Apr 252011

What you need to know about Foursquare For Business

foursquare logo


Foursquare is perhaps the hottest social networking tool over the past 12 months. It allows for users to post updates as to where they are currently, and incorporates a game where the user earns badges for "Checking in" to a location. Users are also able to become "Mayor" of a location, which is something sought after by the majority of the users (players), this indicates that a user has frequented a location more than any other.

Before you can begin with your Business

You first, need an account of your own. Visit www.foursquare.com and sign up. Once there, check-in to a few places nearby, to get the basics down, and earn your first badge(s). In fact, you're rewarded on your very first check-in, and receive a badge for your efforts - Congratulations!

All Set - Show me my business

Simply search Foursquare's business directory for your business. If you're not already present, you can manually add it, or have Foursquare do it for you. Simply follow the guide that is contained on the page and get your business on Foursquare!

Reward Your Mayor and your customers

Over the past few weeks, Foursquare has added even more ways to reward your clientele with incentive based check-ins. Including:

Friends Special - Where you control how many people 'friends' check in at the same time to unlock your special.

Swarm Special - You set a number of people who must be at your venue at the same time to unlock a special. Such as "With 20 foursquare users checked in at the same time, you all receive a bag of chips - Free"

Flash Special - "The first x number of people who check in here receive Y!"

Newbie Special - Set this one up to reward a visitor for their first ever check-in at your location.

Check-in Special - Specials that can be available on your terms (x number of check-ins, every check-in, etc).

You can also reward your most loyal customers. A way to say "thank you" to the people who have visited you more often than any other Foursquare user.

Mayor Special - Something that ONLY your Mayor gets. You decide on what you provide "The mayor receives a free bag of popcorn for their movie"

Loyalty Special - Like a loyalty or punch card, it gives you control over how often a customer needs to visit you before unlocking 'something' "Every 5th Check-in and your next coffee is on us"

Need Stats - Have Stats

As the venue owner, you have the ability to view your locations stats, including total check-ins, who visits you the most, your most recent visitors, gender break downs, times of day, and how many people Tweet or post their check-ins on Facebook.

Foursquare can definitely help your business. Sign Up Your Business Today