As a small business owner, when deciding which sites to devote your social media efforts to, make sure to include Foursquare. Boasting over 45 million users, Foursquare connects people with local business, encouraging them to check in and leave reviews.
The average Foursquare user is in his 30s with a college education and makes around $50,000 each year. To put it simply, Foursquare users have money and are looking for places to spend it. You want your business to shine on this app so you can turn a potential customer into a check-in. All businesses can benefit from Foursquare–but small businesses typically see more of a boost. People recognize chains and can identify their brands, but it is the small boutiques or hidden cafes that people can learn the most about by searching on Foursquare.
Your first step is to claim your business and take control of what information is out there. More likely than not, your business will already be added by FS users. You want to double check all of the information and ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date. Make sure there is a link to your website, the correct hours, and the proper address. After all, what good is it if your customers can’t find you?
After you have control of your Foursquare page, there are a few ways to highlight your business. The more traditional marketing technique that is very popular is Foursquare’s Ads. With the ads, you only pay if someone either clicks on the ad or checks in at your business after seeing it. The beauty of these ads is that they are specifically targeted toward those in the area as well as those that would be likely to visit your business. You can either write the ad yourself, or choose to feature a good review. Many businesses have found success in featuring the words of their customers, as potential customers are more apt to trust them rather than the business owner. Foursquare offers ways to measure your ad’s progress through the number of check-ins, number of taps, and number of impressions.
There are also some free options to showcase your business on Foursquare. Foursquare Local Updates allows you to post about anything relating to your business: a new item, an upcoming event, or special guests. Those that will see these updates will either be people who have checked in before or people who are currently viewing your information. Another way to attract potential customers is to use Foursquare Specials. A special can be something simple like offering a free coffee on the third visit or offering $5 off if they spend more than $25. Users have to check in to receive this special, which is another great way to track business coming from Foursquare.
Not to fret, Foursquare can be pretty low maintenance…especially when you’re most likely trying to juggle your business’ Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Keep an eye on the number of check-ins you’re receiving and don’t forget to have specials occasionally. Checking it about once a week is probably a good rule of thumb.
What are your thoughts about Foursquare? Do you religiously check in to places? What are some other ways small business owners can use Foursquare to their advantage? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @SimplyEricaR.