Unlocking Foursquare

May 30, 2012

Millions of times a day, whether checking out a new spot or visiting an old favorite, people share location with their social network. More than 20 million people use foursquare to communicate and discover new experiences, making it an incredibly powerful tool for businesses to connect with their customers.

Foursquare has built a self-service platform that enables businesses to draw in new customers and retain and reward their most loyal ones. The foursquare merchant tools are built for any type of business, whether a restaurant, bookstore, bar, concert hall, food truck, department store, coffee shop, or any other destination.

To get started, first claim your venue.  Foursquare has simplified this process, giving businesses the option to instantly verify for a one-time $10 fee. After claiming your venue, you can edit your venue page, making sure that the address and map are accurate and adding a Twitter handle and description.

With a claimed listing, you gain access to a special dashboard showing real-time foursquare data for your business. You can see information such as what times and days of the week are the most popular with visitors, the gender breakdown of visitors, and which customers are the most loyal. You can also see the social reach of each check-in (check-ins that are passed onto Facebook and Twitter).

There is one constant to every foursquare business success story: businesses using Specials. A Special is a free way to find new customers and engage your best ones. Here are a few of the most successful types of offers.

Businesses can reach out to potential new customers with Newbie Specials, which are available, or unlocked, to users visiting your venue for the first time. This is the most direct way to drive new traffic to your venue. Arby’s recently offered a newbie special to promote a new sandwich, offering $1 off.

You can also use Specials to increase customer loyalty. Some businesses unlock a Special at every check-in. Another type of Special works like a coffee shop punch card—providing something free on the 10th check-in. To increase the number of customer visits, some merchants run a frequency Special inviting those who check in 3 times in 7 days to unlock their Special.

Specials can also encourage more spending. A nationwide online-to-offline campaign by Radio Shack resulted in foursquare users spending 350% more than the average Radio Shack customer.

More than 750,000 businesses already use Foursquare to engage with their customers, and offerings to make the platform even more powerful are continually being improved.



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