If you have a true local business like a restaurant, hotel or retail store, Foursquare is an ideal social media platform to connect with existing customers, reward loyal customers and attract new ones. Today I will be sharing some best practices & tips on how to get the most out of Foursquare to help your business grow and get more customers through the door. Interested? Read on. Never heard of Foursquare? Be sure to watch the short introductory video first:
So, Foursquare is a great platform to bridge the gap between offline and online audience in an affordable and scalable way. As Brian Honigman explains:
As the leading location-based social network, Foursquare offers a plethora of opportunities for businesses both big and small. There are many alternatives to using Foursquare, but when it comes to location-focused social apps, Foursquare is the king of location with its 20 million users and robust features for users and businesses alike. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect your online and offline experiences.
People use Foursquare to check into locations they’ve visited by using the app on their smartphones. Once they’ve checked into a location, it can then be shared with their Foursquare friends, Facebook friends and Twitter followers. This is where companies on Foursquare can benefit from being on the platform because users’ friends see where they’re checking in to eat, shop, work etc, which might influence them to do the same based on the recommendations of their trusted connections.
7 tips & best practices to market your business on Foursquare
1: Claim Your Company
The first thing to do is claim your business on Foursquare. Maybe people have already added your place so search for it first. Once found, you will have to select the claim/verify option and start the verification process to prove that you are indeed the owner. If you don’t claim it, you can’t market your own business, so this is the first crucial step. Tip: make sure the position of the marker on the map is accurate so people can easily find your company.
2: Use and Promote Local Updates
The ability to send updates from your venue on Foursquare is a recently launched feature that allows your business to engage with people who’ve previously checked into your location and who are nearby. You can send out specials, coupons, deals, announcements etc, and also include attachements like text or images.
3: Create a Page
A Foursquare page is your company’s hub on the network where all of your locations can be managed from 1 single place. You can share your location and news with your followers from the viewpoint of your entire company.
Note that when you check-in at a particular location from your page, it will be listed in the newsfeed of your followers and on your page itself. Be aware these check-ins are different from your local Foursquare updates as discussed above, because they are from a higher level about the entire company, not specific to one of your locations.
4: Add Engaging Tips About Your Company and Others
People who visit your business on Foursquare can leave their opinion of their experience. Users are even prompted to leave tips about places they’ve checked into in the past. This provides an opportunity for both positive and negative feedback.
Many business owners don’t like this thought of negative feedback. That’s understandable, however, it’s only natural to not always get “excellent” as feedback. People are different and you probably can’t always satisfy 100% of your clients. Negative feedback should rather be seen as an opportunity for improvement: by directly addressing the issues of unhappy customers and responding to them, you can turn a negative experience into a loyal customer.
It’s also important for your company to leave tips on the locations of other businesses to foster community in your area, help grow your authority on a particular subject and brand your company in front of other relevant customers frequenting similar locations.
5: Offer Specials
You can offer specials to attract new customers or reward loyal existing customers. There are many types of specials that you can set up, so which one is best depends on your type of business and personal preference.
You can and should test different specials too. Use other social networks like Facebook to spread the word about your Foursquare specials.
6: Use Events
You can use Foursquare on location at your events. This is a helpful way to increase visitors, while syncing interactions with your business online and offline. Using updates from your page and check-ins on behalf of your business, your events can reach new audiences and promote interest in your services, booth, conference or store opening.
Events are useful to both B2B and B2C companies. It enables you to get in front of your potential customers and build a deeper connection. Make sure to stand out at your next conference or trade show by updating attendees with the location of your company at the event, as well as other helpful information from your Foursquare page.
7: Use Signs at Your Business
The unique aspect of Foursquare is that it connects your actions in the real world to your actions online. Be sure to include calls to action at your physical locations to encourage, communicate and support your company’s presence on Foursquare.
Be sure to use window clings, stickers or signs in your location’s window or doorway to remind people to check in at your business. Calls to action about Foursquare will help drive your customers to check in, leave tips and become more active with your company on the platform.