For many international brands, Foursquare has become a very important component to any local web marketing strategy aimed at creating more consumer interaction and foot traffic with a brick and mortar business.
To drive this point home, here are some interesting statistics that will make you think twice before discarding Foursquare as a viable social media platform:
35% of users use Foursquare tips when deciding to visit a place.
58% of users are more likely to go somewhere in order to unlock a badge.
40% of users are directly influenced by Foursquare when visiting a place.
48% of users find Foursquare badges to be extremely important.
So what is a Foursquare badge?
A Foursquare badge is how the community measures their success on this popular social media platform. As users check in at certain places and businesses they are given points and rewards. Once they hit certain milestones the users then unlock a badge which is displayed on their profile.
If a user hits a certain milestone they can become the mayor of that specific location. True, it might sound trivial but the reality is that it directly generates traffic to businesses. Foursquare users will work towards earning any one of the badges below and this is key to remember when developing a strategy for this platform.
Besides just earning badges, users are able to receive exclusive Foursquare discounts, coupons, specials and promotions simply by engaging with the platform.
So what’s in it for businesses?
So now that you understand what’s in it for your customer, how do you use this platform to benefit your business?
You need to think strategically, and generally the team at any good social media agency will work with you on that, but here is an idea to get the ball rolling.
Check your check-ins
On Foursquare the general objective is to drive customer retention, repeat visits and additional foot traffic to a specific location. This could be a retail outlet, restaurant, hotel, business or office.
One of the things that people often forget is that location-based apps, like Foursquare, are also accessible via websites, despite the fact that the majority of users access them from mobile or tablet devices.
As a business owner this is a key point to take note of. By using the website, you as the business owner are able to gain access to a huge amount of data and market intelligence on your customers.
Keep track of who’s checking in
This is probably one of the biggest advantages of Foursquare and you can use this data to your advantage. To get the clogs churning, here are six ways you can use Foursquare check-ins to build relationships with your customers:
Visit your own Foursquare profile and search for your business’ profile. You will open a page that looks very similar to how your own personal profile appears.
On your profile you will see avatars under the “Who’s Been Here” heading. This is a log of everyone who has ever checked in at your location.
Once you click on a customer’s avatar, you will be able to access links to their Twitter and Facebook profiles (if they have submitted them to Foursquare).
Now, go to your Twitter profile and start a list entitled My Foursquare Customers. One by one, add each checked-in customer to your new list. You can keep the list private or you might try making it public for others to follow.
Once your Customer Twitter list is built, take some time to send a short tweet to each member. You might start with something along the lines of: “Noticed you’ve been checking in at [business name]. I just wanted to say thank you for being a great customer!”
Chances are, a good amount of them will reply to your tweet. When they do, embrace the conversation.
Besides showing your customers that you value them you will be able to initiate a conversation, without trying to sell anything. By taking this softer approach and focusing on simply appreciating their business, the customer is most likely to be delighted and continue to support your business.