Foursquare’s rise in popularity over the past year has caused businesses and brands to use the popular check in service to promote themselves.
As Foursquare approaches 6 million worldwide users, it has become more and more valuable for brick and mortar businesses to verify their business with the service and offer incentives to get more people in the door.
We’ll walk you through how to sign your business up for Foursquare and offer deals and promotions that will have customers lining up.
Claim your spot in the world of Foursquare by verifying your business. Doing this will allow you to promote specials to Foursquare users and view the demographics of people who check in. Here's how it works:
- Create a Foursquare account. Click here to get started.
- After creating your account, search for your business in the search bar at the top of your screen. (Chances are someone has created the location on Foursquare by now).
- Click the 'Claim Venue' link (pictured) to start the verification process. You'll have to provide your business's email address and phone number so Foursquare can call and verify.
According to John Coe in The Fundamentals of Business To Business Sales and Marketing, '68% of long-term customers stop buying because they just don't feel loved.' What if you had a rewards program that was powered by Foursquare? What if a customer received 10% off every fifth visit? Foursquare makes it easy to keep track of visits and reward your more loyal patrons with mobile coupons, prizes, discounts, or other bonuses.
Here's how it works:
- After Foursquare gets in touch with you and verifies your business, you have the option to use the Merchant Platform to set up a special for your venue. This can be as simple as offering a free drink to anyone who checks in, to offering discounts after someone checks in a certain number of times. Click here to see the special options Foursquare offers.
- When a Foursquare user is nearby, the system will mark your business with a 'Special' badge to let them know you have an offer. Foursquare also offers free stickers for your shop's window to let passersby know you have a special.
- Once a customer qualifies for a special, an 'unlock' screen will show up on their smartphone. Train your employees to recognise this so they can give the customer his reward.
When it comes to analytics, Foursquare makes it easy to find your male to female ratio, who your regular customers are, the time of day you get the most check-ins, and how your customers checking in compares to the customers who are signed up for your loyalty program. You can also see which customers are sharing their check ins on Facebook or Twitter and spreading the word to their friends and followers.
If used correctly, it can yield lots of useful data. If women dominate your store, you can change your marketing to appeal to more men, for example.
To view the stats, visit your venue's page after you have verified it with Foursquare.
Big brands like MTV, The New York Times, and The History Channel have already taken advantage of Foursquare's brand pages and badges. It allows you to leave tips and award your followers with a custom badge when they have accomplished them.
For now, you'll have to work with a Foursquare representative directly in order to set up your brand. The process could take a few weeks, so be ready for that.
Here's what you do:
- Download this form (it's an Excel document) and follow the instructions. You'll have to link your Foursquare account to your Twitter page before moving on.
- The rest of the form asks for basic information for your brand's page including a brief description and images you would like to use. Note: Foursquare does not guarantee that every brand will get a page. This is mostly reserved for large brands.
- After you have completed the form, e-mail it to [email protected] and wait for the Foursquare team to get back to you.
After Foursquare verifies your brand and creates your brand page, you will be able to leave tips for your followers. In the world of Foursquare, tips are short comments about places you've checked into.
Brands can leave tips at locations related to their business that will show up when a Foursquare user checks in to that venue.
To add tips, log in with your verified brand account and search for the venue you would like to leave a tip at. (You can also do this from Foursquare's smartphone app). You'll see the tip box (pictured above) at the bottom left of the venue page. Enter your tip and click share.