How to Leverage Foursquare for Your Business

Location-based services are all the rage these days. Foursquare and Gowalla are growing exponentially in popularity and subscriber base with every passing day. While many critics were quick to write them off as “a waste of time”, location-based services such as Foursquare offer an untapped opportunity for businesses.

As a testimony to the growing popularity of location-based services, Facebook – world’s leading social network recently announced the integration of Foursquare and Gowalla into its latest offering – Facebook Places.

How does Foursquare work?

Like any other location-based service, Foursquare makes use of the GPS capabilities of users’ phones to determine their location. Users are encouraged to verify their location (check-in) and rewarded with badges and mayor-ships for doing so. It’s a fun experience that lets users inform their friends and family about their current location as well as earn rewards for it.

Foursquare for Business

While individual rewards are great, does Foursquare offer any value to businesses? Yes it does, all it requires is some smart thinking and swift action. The founding principle of Foursquare is based on getting people to your place of business. Therefore, it’s well suited for a variety of businesses such as restaurants, book shops, spas, salons etc.

Thankfully, the folks at Foursquare realize the business potential of location-based services and therefore they provide an opportunity for business owners to claim their business. Once you’ve claimed a location as your business on Foursquare, you can launch incentives and campaigns in order to encourage more users to check-in at your business location.

As a business, you should encourage user shout-outs, offer cool mayor incentives and regularly monitor check-ins to make best possible use of Foursquare.

Word of Location = Word of Mouth

When users’ checks-in at a particular location, they broadcast their location on Twitter and Facebook. This helps spread the word regarding your business to a large number of social media users thereby boosting your prospect customer base.

What’s more, Foursquare already has put in security measures to ensure that users don’t over do it. In addition to the passive social media promotion through Twitter and Facebook, a business can get listed amongst Foursquare advertisements as well.

Real Time Statistics

Foursquare provides valuable information regarding your business location including

  • most recent visitors
  • most frequent visitors
  • the time of day people check in
  • total number of unique visitors
  • histogram of check-ins per day
  • gender breakdown of customers
  • portion of foursquare check-ins broadcast to Twitter and Facebook

This data provides vital feedback for a business regarding their performance and reputation on Foursquare as well as social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

The Mobile Experience

Smartphones are here to stay and they are redefining our habits for good. Foursquare offers mobile clients for all leading mobile platforms including Android, iPhone and Blackberry thereby reaching a large number of people across varied walks of life. From a business perspective, when it comes to reaching out prospect customers, the golden rule of “The More, The Merrier” works perfectly.

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  1. Gabriele Maidecchi

    Great summary about Foursquare business opportunities!
    I admit I am not much of an expert on this service but reading posts like this I kinda realize I need to study more 😉

  2. Anonymous

    Fousquare is really getting a lot of buzz these days. However, the number of users is just of a few millions… and their check in system is not that acurate: you may be some ft away from the store, and still check in like if you were inside it… That, for me, makes the system quite unuseful, as it may send me a person that I need to reward (he just became my mayor) without ever buying me anything!

    I still rely on the “old” loyalty card system… I just found out a new mobile application where I can recommend my customers to carry my card: Cardmobili. It is free, I still get my image in front of the people, and users can share my promos and offers with their friends on Facebook! If you’re considering mobile loyalty, I belive this is the way to do it – check them out at

  3. Lorrie J

    As businesses flock to social services they gain in customer loyalty and rewards. Here’s an interesting add on to the foursquare story…ScreenScape digital signage allows a venue operator to show their foursquare window cling as a digital poster. The widget also shows who’s the mayor and how many people are currently checked in. It’s a great service to combine with foursquare for maximum customer participation.

  4. How to Leverage the Growth of FourSquare in 2011 | Smedio | The New Media and Social Web Guide for Business and Marketers

    […] An increasing number of businesses offer deals to foursquare users who check in on premises. To know how you can leverage Foursquare for your business, visit here. […]

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  23. What to Know About the Business of Social Media

    […] Foursquare, which helps groups of friends find local places to hang out, recently partnered with Verizon FiOS. The partnership is part of a larger arrangement: namely, Verizon’s $1 billion partnership with the NFL. Foursquare users in the Washington, D.C., Boston, and Baltimore areas will now start seeing location-based FiOS ads featuring the areas’ local teams. It’s a great indication of what is possible when advertisers reach out to specific demographic segments. Taking inspiration from the deal, more East Coast teams are expected to be added shortly. […]

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