How To Foursquare and Drive Business

explore foursquare
Explore with Foursquare
Businesses are driving revenues using social media tools such as Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and more. Today we’re focusing on Foursquare; what it is, why it’s popular, how it can drive customers into your business and the analytics available.

Foursquare it’s very social, very engaging and a very different experience from other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. GPS functionality, ease of use and gaming attributes make discovering new places fun, rewarding and a quest on its own.


Foursquare is a leader in mobile social networking and local merchant services. Foursquare mobile applications leverage gaming dynamics to help users meet up with their friends on the go, discover what’s nearby, save money, unlock coupons and deals and post reviews of places they’ve been.

Foursquare Data (updated April 2012)
Users: 20+ million worldwide
Check-ins: 2+ billion, millions more each day
foursquare badges
Foursquare Badges
Businesses using Foursquare: 750,000+

How Customers Use Foursquare

People use Foursquare on a local level to broadcast to their friends where they are. They also use Foursquare to find local deals and specials which may be the differentiators in deciding what restaurant to go to or what night spot to meet up with friends at.

When visiting new communities Foursquare has a “Search” feature that allows customer to discover places. These are categorized as Top Picks, Specials, Food, Coffee, Nightlife, Shops, Arts & Entertainment, and Outdoors. Top Pick and Specials categories are reserved for those businesses that are top choices or offer specials.

Activities on Foursquare have point values and it’s these point values that drive the gaming excitement and uniqueness of Foursquare. For example, a new check-in may be worth +3 points. Connected friends compete to see who can score the most points, collect the most badges or determine who the “Mayor” of a venue is.

Customers also leave “Tips” which are similar to reviews and their own images of the places they have been.

How Businesses Benefit

Foursquare allows you to find new customers and form deeper connections with your best ones. When people check in on Foursquare at your business they are broadcasting to their friends and their social networks that they are at your business. This is an endorsement and mention for your business, and we all know referrals are a great way to drive foot traffic.

New Customers & Traffic Generators

With Specials, businesses reward their customers and bring more attention to their venue and generate new business. When a businesses runs a special the listing gets highlighted and stands out considerably from those not running specials.
Special Offer
  • Swarm Special , Example, "If 30 people check in at once, get 25 cent wings" 
  • Friend Special, Example, “Check in with 3 friends and get a free dessert” 
  • Flash Special, Example, "The first 10 people that check in after 8pm get 25% off their order" 
  • Newbie Special, Example, "Get a free cupcake on your first check-in" 
  • Check-in Special, Example, "Get a free appetizer when you check in"
Reward Existing Customers
  • Loyalty Special, Example, "Get a free cookie every 3rd check-in"
  • Mayor Special, Example, "Mayor gets 20% off their entire bill"
Note: Specials are only for claimed venues. If you have not yet claimed your business on foursquare, click here to get started. You need a Foursquare user account to claim a venue. You do not have to have a smart phone to create an account, although it does make it easier to understand once you’ve used it on a smart phone. You can get started in just 90 seconds. I explain how here.

Once you’ve claimed your venue and started offering specials you will want to promote your special online and offline. Promote your specials online using Facebook, Twitter, your website, wherever you can. Offline use flyer's, window stickers, chalkboards, whatever and wherever you can to draw traffic. Read more including case studies and results achieved here.

In this video I show you step by step how to create a special in under 4 minutes.

Visibility: Your Customer & Stats

Once you’ve claimed your business on Foursquare, you get full access to real-time data about your customers, including:
Foursquare stats
Foursquare Stats
  • Total daily check-ins over time
  • Your most recent visitors
  • Your most frequent visitors
  • Gender breakdown of your customers
  • What time of day people check in
  • Portion of your venue’s foursquare check-ins that are broadcast to Twitter and Facebook
It’s super useful, and can be used to tailor your Specials (or even your business).

Get Started

You can get started in just 90 seconds. I explain how here. Remember, you need a Foursquare user account to claim a venue. You do not have to have a smart phone to create an account, although it does make it easier to understand once you’ve used it on a smart phone.

Claim your venue Head on over to this page to claim your listing and get full access to all of Foursquare’s free tools.

Create a Special After you’ve claimed your venue, start creating Specials (for free!) to get new customers and reward your loyal ones.

Grow your business Engage your customers, learn more about them, and help new ones find you. The foursquare Merchant Platform has all the tools you need.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To

Drive more business with How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups


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