Foursquare is one of the hottest location-based social media app games for mobile phone users. The premise is simple. Smartphone users simply “check in” with their mobile phones so others know where they are and what they’re doing. You can use it to promote your business, even though it might seem to be more of a social than a business tool. Smartphones generate a user’s position with great accuracy, and it’s predicted they’ll be around 140 million of them on the streets throughout North American by 2014, so the business potential is huge.
List Your Business
When you list your business on Foursquare, you allow your customers to rate your business and products. These “check ins” go out to other users, and the person who checks in the most becomes “mayor” of your business. That gives them an incentive to check in more often and let their friends know. Even better, the service allows your business to offer instant discounts to your customers who use Foursquare. It’s also free (at the moment) to start using the service. Right now, there are almost 2 million Foursquare users, and the numbers are growing monthly, so your customer base is built in. Many businesses “check in” on themselves using the service, and offer insider tips for regular customers, such as an item that’s not on the menu as a special for insiders, or a product discount that only friends of the business can use. When nearby friends see the tips, the game encourages them to recommend your business and talk about their experiences.
It’s simple to use and just about anyone can use it, even the smallest business. Your customers can also win badges and other prizes when they check in, which offers them additional reasons to check in often, and the basic platform is absolutely free, all you have to do is register. Foursquare.com will check to make sure you’re the owner of your business, and then they’ll list your business and people can start to check in with you. You’ll find an area to offer your first discount coupon when you sign up for the service. Offer a basic discount to shoppers, but make sure you offer something special for your “mayor,” so people will want the job.
Make Sure you Play the Game
Just like other social media, you have to participate to get the best return on your marketing. You need to contribute to your site, and you need to converse with your customers. Don’t just add a coupon and leave it alone. Add your comments, ideas, and thoughts about your business and products, and keep the conversation flowing. It’s a nice touch to add tips about other businesses in your area, too. Use Foursquare effectively and you could see a nice rise in those sales numbers as more people check out your business.