Free Marketing For Businesses Through Foursquare

Social Media has advanced a lot during the past ten years, but never so much as when location-based reviews entered the scene—Yelp in 2004, and Foursquare more recently in 2009. In this blog post, we highlight Foursquare’s new platform that is revolutionizing the way businesses use location-based advertising.

On Foursquare, users suggest tips. Instead of offering a review of time spent at a location, something that Yelp provides, customers can offer 200 character tips about what new patrons should try out. It’s all about community on Foursquare, and that’s the draw of the website.

Because Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform, the most important thing that a business owner can do is get their clientele to “check-in” when they walk into the shop. This is free advertising for businesses, because “checking-in” often automatically posts to the consumers’ Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare pages.

Since the “check-in” is the ultimate goal for businesses, you need to offer your customers incentives: as a business owner, you know that patrons won’t stop by unless they have a reason. The new Foursquare platform gives them a reason. To better understand how it can, we offer this step-by-step guide for your business.

1. Sign Up

If you aren’t on Foursquare yet, you will need an account in order to continue.

2. Claim Your Venue

We’ll assume you already have a presence on Foursquare, because most businesses do without knowing it. Find your business on the site, and click “Claim Here” in the upper right hand corner. You will have to verify your business through a phone call.

3. Choose a “Special”

This is how you will get your check-ins. On the Foursquare homepage, in the bottom right hand corner, you’ll see a button that says “merchants.” The second tab is where you can select a “special” to pull in your customers. Passersby will notice the “special” that you’re offering, and stop in to see.

Next, think about your marketing strategy. If you’re going for new customers, you’ll definitely want to use the Newbie Special. Want to keep them coming back? The Check-in Special would be a good choice. The Mayor Special is a fun one, because it not only rewards your most loyal customers, but it creates competition for your other customers to try to gain Mayor status! Be sure to read through all the specials available to pick the perfect one.

4. Tell Your Employees

Make sure that your employees know about the new specials as you add them. You have the option of placing a code into the special, which will let your employees track it correctly.

5. Promote!

Let people know about your new Foursquare specials! Customers will see them if they’re near your shop, but what if they’re at home, browsing Facebook? Let your loyal patrons know that you’ve got something special for Foursquare users through your Facebook, Twitter and any other online marketing vehicle you use.

Another suggestion is to market your Foursquare presence inside your shop. Foursquare sends business owners stickers to put on doors or cash registers, but you can also hang up a sign in your window or even reserve a special seat for the Mayor, as well! The possibilities on how to promote your business within the Foursquare community are endless.

Don’t miss this new opportunity for free online marketing and increased sales—claim your business on Foursquare today!