Aug 18, 2013

Foursquare: What Is It and How Can It Help Grow Your Business

Social Media Marketing is evolving and expanding daily, and it's not just all about Facebook anymore. 

I'm not knocking Facebook; but it's not the only game in town.  Although Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Channels seem to get the lion's share of the "buzz" and media coverage regarding Social Media Marketing for Business, there are many other FREE opportunities out there that can help ANY business... 

  1. attract new customers
  2. keep current customers
  3. bring back old customers. 

FOURSQUARE is the topic of this post, and it will provide answers to a few key questions, that if you own a business, you SHOULD be asking. Such as... 

What Is Foursquare?  

Why Should I Use Foursquare? 

How Can I Use Foursquare? 

How Does My Target Market Use It?


The following section of this Blog Post is from the Foursquare website (AUG 2013) -
Foursquare for Biz.
 The links below will take you directly to the Foursquare website, where you can start to take advantage of the many FREE business promotional opportunities they offer.

FOURSQUARE: We know your business is all about your customers, so we created FREE tools to help deliver more of them to you. Click Here To Sign Up so that you can...

Take Control of Your Listing
  • Foursquare has millions of business BUSINESS LISTINGS, all submitted by customers who go to those places. Your business is probably on Foursquare! Sign up to CLAIM YOUR LISTING and make sure it's accurate and complete.
Engage Your Customers Monitor Foot Traffic
  • Our free analytics tell you about customers checking in to your business – see who they are, when they come, how much they're talking about you across other social networks, and more.
Don't have a Physical Location - office or store?
  • Click here to learn about our FREE brand tools for publishers, musicians, sports leagues, and more.
First Things First: Visit and search to see If your business is listed. If it's not listed, you'll be able to add it when you get started.


  • Over 100 million people can find your business through Foursquare and our partners.
  • Potential customers see your listing when they search for places to go – they can look at photos and tips people leave, call you directly from our app, or look up your address so that they can stop by.
What to Add to your Foursquare Listing:
  • Your listing includes basic information like your company name, address and phone number, but you should make sure it’s accurate. Plus, you should add: a keyword rich, concise business description, Hours of operation, a Link to your Website, Social Media Links (Facebook, Twitter) and other information your target market should know.
Engage Customers
Use Foursquare Local Updates to share news, events, or featured items at your business with customers when they are nearby.

How It Works

People who have checked in or look at your business page will see local updates you post to Foursquare – there's no need for customers to subscribe, you already have a built in audience. 
You can create and post updates easily, anytime. Your customers will see your updates on their phone, along with anyone who views your business listing.

What to Say

Updates can be anything you want to tell your customers. Tell them about: a new product or service, a current sale, discount or other promotion, general announcements (company or industry news), upcoming events (such as a Trade Show) and more.
You can also use Foursquare to extend in-store messaging, or as another channel for your current promotional efforts. 
Reward Customers 
Offer Foursquare Specials to attract new customers or reward loyal ones by giving them an incentive to visit your business.

What to Offer
Try one of these specials (they typically work well):
  • Offer a small gift – "free hot chocolate on your third check-in"
  • Provide a discount – "save 25% on comedy tickets when you check in"
  • Give VIP treatment – "check in to get a free upgrade to the front row"
  • Run a contest – "tweet your check-in to be entered into an iPod raffle"
Tip: Once you create specials online, you can see how they're performing and turn them on or off from our Foursquare for Business app. 

Make sure to let people know you have a special!

Place a sign in your window or near your register to promote your special. Make your own, or CLICK HERE to Download Stock Special that we've created. 
Monitor Foot TrafficUse our Free Analytics to learn more about the customers coming through your door.
How It Works
Here are some ways you can learn more about your customers using our analytics:
    • Measure your success. See how many check-ins you're getting each week, and how many of those are being shared on Facebook and Twitter. 
    • Meet your best customers. Find out who the mayor of your business is (the person who visits the most!), and learn more about your other top visitors.
    • Follow your activity. Each week, we'll send you an email that includes key stats, along with any recent tips and photos that people have left at your business.
When customers check in at your business, they're sharing that experience with their friends (and with Foursquare). When you claim your business, you gain access to customers stats based on this check-in data. This means you can see who's coming in for the first time, and how often they're coming back. 
5 Steps to Success on Foursquare
  1. Get Started.  Start by signing up – you will create a personal Foursquare account, connect it to your business location, and verify that the business is yours.
  2. Update your listing. Make sure your business information is accurate. Add a description, your hours, and links to your website, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.
  3. Tell customers you're on Foursquare. Put up a window cling to remind customers to check in. Also, feel free to use our graphics for any of your signage.
  4. Drive foot traffic. Post updates, offer specials, and add events to let customers know what’s happening to entice them to drop by.
  5. Stay up to date. Read tips customers leave at your business and check your analytics to keep track of your customers.

Mobile Marketing: Foursquare takes advantage of what is called "Near Field Marketing".  An example would be if a female teenager walks into a shopping mall, the digital kiosk billboard just inside the mall entrance might display Ads for youth clothing stores or music stores.  If a 50+year old male walks into the same mall, the same billboard might display Ads for the golf store (or hearing aid store!) inside the mall. The targeting is amazing technology - like a sniper rifle vs a shotgun!  

Get The App! You AND your customers can download the FREE Foursquare App - visit the iTunes Store or Google Play to install to your smartphone. says: Discover & Share Great Places with your Friends. Over 30 million people use Foursquare to make the most of where they are. Discover and learn about great places nearby, search for what you’re craving, and get deals and tips along the way. Best of all, Foursquare is personalized. With every check-in, we get even better at recommending places for you to try.

SIDE NOTE: Another aspect of Near Field Marketing, that's currently in development, or possible already in use by now, are kiosk billboards that use cameras for facial & body recognition to determine age, sex, size, ethnicity, etc. and then - they serve up targeted promotions based on the particular person viewing the screen.

Want More From Foursquare? You can also pay to advertise on Foursquare.
With Foursquare, you don't pay for visits or clicks or just eyeballs...
you pay only when they visit your business!  Click here to learn more

Cole WebMarketing: If you own or manage a business based in North Carolina or South Carolina, and would like to learn more about Foursquare and integrating this component into your overall comprehensive social media marketing program, visit and then call Cole WebMarketing at 704-456-WEB1 (9321)