Foursquare is fun. It’s engaging. It’s also undeniably growing in popularity, reaching 1 million users last month after just over a year of service. But how can your business benefit from the Web’s leading location-based social network?
The truth is Foursquare offers brands and businesses a unique way to interact with their most loyal fans, offer incentives for casual fans and wrap up this bundle of engagement with some pretty nifty SEO benefits.
First, as with most social network profiles, Foursquare venue pages are ranking in search results, delivering a link that contains your business name, address and phone number. Free links? Heck yeah, you’ll take it.
Google and Bing Maps are also highlighting Foursquare venues in their local searches. Google in particular is starting to use your Foursquare tips and shouts for citations about your business, a valuable component to their ranking algorithm.
Exposure and SEO go hand-in-hand. Interaction through Foursquare can increase your chances of getting picked up by bloggers, reviews and other Web sites.
But again, beyond the links, algorithms and rankings, Foursquare has the potential to be the ultimate engagement network of your social media portfolio. Here are 4 ways your business should use Foursquare to boost sales and increase loyalty:
Foursquare is a game that allows you to be creative in your approach with customer relationships. Learn about your customers and develop a friendly reputation. Foursquare also offers business analytics that make it possible for owners to see how customers interact within their businesses.
2. Offer Specials!
Suggest discounts or special packages to your customers who “check in” through Foursquare. Foursquare offers a number of ways to customize your specials to match your business objectives.
Reward a customer after 10 visits: “Foursquare says you’ve been here 10 times? That’s a free drink for you!”
Encourage them to come back again and again: “Foursquare users get 20% off any entree every 5th check-in!”
You get the idea.
3. Give Tips!
Tell your customers the best times to visit your business and give them the best experience possible. Leave advice about daily specials, current promotions or spur of the moment incentives when business is slow. You’re in control!
4. Reward Mayors!
Businesses have been rewarding their most frequent customers since the beginning of time. Foursquare allows your fans to duke it out, stake claim to your business, and be rewarded for his loyalty. A little competition among loyal customers could leave your competition in the dust.