Foursquare is a location based social networking site allowing users to share their everyday activities, such as visits to shops, restaurants and other venues. Users ‘check-in’ to a local businesses, earning themselves badges, points and the ability to use special promotions.
What do you like / dislike:
• Personalised offers based on your past levels of interaction with the venue i.e. you can take advantage of a newbie special if you have never visited before
• Great tool if you are new to a city or looking for hidden gems. Using your phone’s GPS, the app will tell you places to try based on your location, whether your friends like it as well as info on special offers
• Users can leave tips for other users. These tips can make visiting a venue more personalised, offering visitors insights into the business that they might not normally get, for example this one on the right:
• Built in analytics. Fourquare has it’s own analytics tool which allows businesses to monitor foot traffic, see who their best customers are (great way to strike up a conversation in store with them!) and allows businesses to keep an eye on what pictures and tips are being uploaded.
• Reviews need to be managed. Negative views are part of the social media world but are more damaging to the brand if they are left unanswered so companies are faced with that age old social media marketing problem: ensuring that customer feedback is answered. If your customers are using the site, then you should be moderating their comments.
Is it good for business?
Foursquare allows businesses to manage their own listing and offer promotions and discounts to Foursquare users. It is a great tool for people to leave reviews and each business gets their own profile page, which is populated with pictures, reviews and contact details.
Businesses can take advantage of local footfall by enticing new customers with special offers and rewarding them for bringing along friends. So in a nutshell, yes, Foursquare is good for business, rewarding existing customers and attracting new ones: business 101!
Brands who use Foursquare well
As their strapline states, history is made every day and the companies use of Foursquare certainly helps to keep history current. Users can earn their ‘History Badge’ by checking in to two or more locations where the company has left history tips.
Users are given daily pictures and tips about historical places to visit, mainly in the USA, ranging from Times Square to Princeton University. Alas, it appears neither the National Trust or English Heritage is officially on Foursquare – someone correct me if I’m wrong.
And that’s where I stop … I’ve searched for some of the most well-known brands (Coca Cola, Pepsi, Hilton Hotels, Gap and BodyShop) and they have no recent activity (over a year ago) or are not on it at all. Mmmm. Foursquare may be dead on its feet.
Do you use Foursquare for business? Let me know how :)