Everything You Need to Know About Foursquare

More and more marketers are taking advantage of Foursquare, the location-based social networking game. Nationwide companies like Bravo and Starbucks have tapped into Foursquare’s marketing genius by offering users added incentives to engage with their brands.

What is Foursquare?
Foursquare is a smart phone app and website that works by letting the user tell the app where they are and sending that information to the user’s friends. All users need to do is “check-in” via SMS, mobile app or website. Using the Foursquare mobile app, users can automatically check-in and post shouts based on where they are and what they’re doing. Users can also find friends, search venues, earn badges, become the mayor of a venue and add friends.

Are any Milwaukee companies using Foursquare?
AJ Bombers

AJ Bombers has become a popular hang out for Milwaukee Foursquare users. On “Foursquare Day,” AJ Bombers partnered with Foursquare to develop special opportunities to pack the bar and restaurant with Foursquare users. The bar and restaurant attracted 231 people to their venue throughout the day, and experienced some of their longest wait times. You can read more about how AJ Bombers leveraged Foursquare here.

Stack’d Burger Bar
Stack’d Burger Bar entices customers with their Foursquare specials. Foursquare users can take advantage of happy hour all day, every day when they show their server they’ve checked-in. The mayor of Stack’d also receives a free burger!

Other Milwaukee businesses like the InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel and Molly Cool’s Seafood Tavern are using Foursquare to offer special discounts and deals to patrons.

How can I start using Foursquare to positively impact my business?
The first thing you should do is Google your company to see if you already have a Foursquare presence. For instance, the Harley-Davidson Museum would Google: foursquare.com/venue Harley-Davidson Museum. When you find your venue you will be able to see how many times people have checked-in, the number of people who have checked-in and who your mayor is. You may discover a Foursquare fan base you didn’t know about.

Once you know how and if people are using Foursquare to interact with your business, you can decide how integrating Foursquare into your current communications and/or social media plan will work best. Depending on your goals there are three main ways to interact with consumers on Foursquare.

1) Work with Foursquare to develop a special
Many restaurants and bars offer new mayors a free drink or meal when they check-in. Others encourage repeat visits by offering customers deals or specials every time they check-in.

2) Work with Foursquare to create a new badge
If your company has multiple locations, you may be able to develop a special badge. For instance, Starbucks worked with Foursquare to develop the “Barista” badge. Users earn the Barista badge by checking-in to five different Starbucks locations.

3) Create your own Foursquare account
When you create your own account on Foursquare you can become friends with your consumers, learn where they are checking-in most frequently, learn who is at your business at what time and let consumers know where you hang out. All of this allows for increased interaction between you and your consumers.