Location based social network, Foursquare has been an innovating and all around fun mobile phone application since its launch in 2009. Since then, the check in phenomenon has reached out to nearly 30 million people worldwide, and has accounted for over 3 billion check-ins, which is growing by the millions every day. With that being said, doesn’t this sound like something your business should be a part of?
One million businesses around the world are using Foursquare’s merchant platform to advertise, engage with customers and literally put their business on the map. Recently, Foursquare fine-tuned this application to give merchants a slew of tools to keep in touch with current and potential customers.
“When you’re running around on the floor, it’s hard to hop on a computer and post your latest happenings, like the spring collection that just arrived or your newest menu item,” the company said today in a blog post announcing its launch.
With the new app, businesses can easily cross-post Foursquare updates to other social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, at the same time, and can also use the app to see recent check-ins, turn specials on and off and look at business data such as likes and top customers, the company said.
Foursquare’s tools for merchants can be used by a variety of businesses whether it be a mom-and-pop shop or a national chain, the company claims.
What are some benefits are tips of using Foursquare to engage with customers? Here are a couple ways:
- Campaigning & Specials: Businesses can create their own “Check-in Specials” from a list Foursquare options. These virtually have unlimited potential –businesses have a lot of room to get creative. The specials include:
- Newbie special: “Get a free soda on your first Check In”
- Swarm special: “Check In with 30 or more people and get 25 cent wings”
- Friends special: “Check In with 4 or more friends and receive a free appetizer”
- Flash special: “The first 10 people who check in after 9p.m. get a 22oz beverage for the price of a 16 oz”
- Loyalty special: “Receive a free coffee every 5th Check In”
- Check in special: “Receive a free desert when you Check In”
- Major special: “The Major receives a free meal once a week”
- These virtually have unlimited potential – from running a special from 9-10 p.m. on Wednesday nights to offering loyal customer a percentage off their bill, businesses have a lot of room to get creative. Many businesses will use a combination of these to encourage a growing clientele.
- Also, merchants have the ability to track these statistics and how often customers check in, what specials are used and when. Foursquare offers a Venue Stats Dashboard that helps companies construct campaigns to maximize their business offerings.
- Free Foursquare advertising. By simply adding your business onto the Foursquare platform it opens the doors to millions of users. When users check in to a location they are “suggested” to nearby locations as well.
- Foursquare encourages it’s users to leave reviews and tips to other users when they check into a location. Whether you have the best burgers around or have specials on Mondays, there’s a good chance users are sharing this info with others via Foursquare.
- Foursquare may also be used as a news outlet for your business. It can help announce new menu offerings or exciting things that are happening around your company.
- Another feature recently launched for business owners posting from their venues is Promoted Updates, which allow a business to pay to have their local updates promoted in the Explore tab.