Why I’m addicted to Foursquare (and you should be too)

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If you travel a lot like me and you find you have time on your hands at random moments on the road and at airports, you might have a tendency to muck around on your smart phone. If you’re like me you may like to check your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin but lately I have also found myself logging in and mucking around with Foursquare.

For those of you not on the same page, Foursquare is a social network where you log in to locations and tell people what they’re like. Whilst this may seem as futile as Facebook was originally perceived, let me give you some practical examples of why I’m gradually becoming addicted to Foursquare and why you should give it some serious consideration too:

1) Put your retail outlet ‘on the map’

If you work from home and don’t want people to know where you are this is not for you. But if you want people to come and visit, then get yourself on the Foursquare map. Whilst Google Maps and Google Places are great places to list your business, placing it on Foursquare, and as of last week in Australia, Facebook Places will also put your place ‘on the map’. Don’t underestimate it – people ARE LOOKING FOR YOU, so you might as well make it as easy as possible to find you by making sure you’re listed! after all do you really want them finding your competitors before you?

2) The cheapest loyalty program out 
Have you thought about loyalty cards? Discussed them at team meetings, meant to have rolled them out…and never got around to them? Well now you don’t know to! Simply list your business onfoursquare and then encourage people to check in each time they visit your venue and reward them for doing so. Foursquare will automatically tabulate who is your venue’s ‘mayor’ (which is rewarded with the most check-ins in the last 60 days) and how many people have unlocked youroffers. This area of Foursquare is being constantly developed and well worth keeping an eye on.

3) Make your business as transperant as possible
If you don’t want to hear the honest truth about what people think of your business then don’t do this….but if you do then you could be just about to discover the best ongoing focus group you ever had!! Is the service out of this world, or half rate? Are your ‘signature oysters’ ‘up to scratch’ or a little ‘bit under-done’? Don’t worry your Foursquare users will let you know and will help you and your team to keep trying to be the best you can. Even better, act on their comments in way that is seen to be responsive and you could take yourbusiness to a whole new level.

4) Go viral

Each time you check into a location on Foursquare, the other friends of the user are notified, encouraging the viral effect of your location on Foursquare. Whilst the average number of Foursquarefriends per user is not yet as high as Facebook, give it some time andwatch the leveraging effect.

5) Promote specials and bring people in your doors
Looking for a way to target tourists? A special to entice locals? Offer specials and you increase your chances of people searching for offers in your area visiting you.

6) Tip people off
Let’s face it. Users like tip offs. They like to feel like they are getting the best deal at the place they are at. The inside, the deal of the century.  And users trust other people’s opinions. In fact much more than what a travel guide may say. So encourage the tip offs, encourage the buzz and you will have new customers galore.

7) Get used to push marketing and look out for Facebook Places
Launched in Australia in October 2010, Facebook Places is Facebook’s answer to Foursquare. At this point in time you can only use Facebook Places on an iPhone but watch this space as it is likely to come to Blackberry’s soon.

For more tips on setting up on Foursquare or Facebook Places, advice on how get the most out of your social media, contact The Creative Collective on 07 545 11315 or email [email protected].

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