It’s called Foursquare, and if your business isn’t using it to draw in customers you are missing a big opportunity.
With Foursquare, users “check-in” when they visit locations. They earn badges for checking in to certain locations more often than other users. For the person who checks in someplace the most, they get the title of “Mayor.”
Savvy business owners immediately started jumping on the Foursquare bandwagon by offering people who checked-in at their establishments a certain number of times. Customers who check-in often are regulars so they earn special deals.
This “no-brainer” marketing, folks. The people using Foursquare to check-in at your business are walking, talking marketing tools. They will tell their friends about the good deal they got for checking-in at certain businesses. Plus, because Foursquare is a social networking site, the fact people are checking-in at certain businesses gets spread around anyway.
The key is to make the special deal achievable, but something they have to work toward. Not too easy, and not too hard. You also need to build new guest counts and not simply keep mining the old ones, so consider a deal where they bring a friend for a special deal.
Whatever you do, using Foursquare for your marketing is yet another way social media can bring increased revenue to your shop without leaving your marketing budget depleted.
Are you on Foursquare yet? It’s something I’ve been toying with for a few months now as a consumer. The basic idea is that you “check in” at places (businesses, office buildings, parks…it could be anything) and your friends can see where you are. In addition to friends on your Foursquare network, you can dual-post your location to Facebook.
I’m a city dweller, so the perceived value of Foursquare is influenced by that. I’ve found it useful for connecting with friends when I’m out and about. If I’m within a block of the waterfront and I see that my friend Kim is down there having dinner, I’ll stop by. But I digress, that’s not marketing.
Foursquare gives local businesses the opportunity to market to people who are in their vicinity. The key to success is having a clear goal and matching both the value of the offer and the check-ins required to it. Let’s talk about a couple different deals which are on Foursquare in my neighborhood now.
Häagen-Dazs: Buy One Dazzler, Get One Free on Your First Check-In
This is a smart promotion on Häagen-Dazs’ part. There are a number of ice cream places in my neighborhood (Ben and Jerry’s is just across the street) and Häagen-Dazs is the only one marketing on Foursquare. The next time I need a cool treat, will this tempt me to head to Häagen-Dazs instead of a competitor? Yes.
The goal here is clearly to get people in the door. The first check-in reward matches that. The value is clear – it’s buy one, get one free. Will this keep people coming back? Maybe, if they enjoy their experience (and the ice cream!). But it’s clearly not intended for that – it’s strictly an acquisition offer.
One thing I had to investigate – what is a dazzler? Turns out it’s an ice cream sundae in a cup. Small point, but providing some more detail on what’s free would have made this more appealing.
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