Business looking to improve their online reputation are integrating social networks such as Foursquare into their PR strategy. With minimal set-up and initial investment; there are many Foursquare tactics that can work in your favor.
For example, your business can set up a ‘Mayor Special’ to reward the person who visits your business the most. Offer an incentive that creates competition; like a 15% discount or small freebie. Another special that rewards customer frequency is the ‘Check-in Special.’ This incentivizes customers to come back to your business a certain amount of times until they receive their reward (and then start the journey over again). Note: it’s extremely important to offer something to Foursquare users so they’re encouraged to check-in and say positive things about your brand.
Yet, in addition to spreading positive WOM (or avoiding negative conversations), having a Foursquare account is also beneficial for your company’s online reputation. With social search on the rise, many Foursquare users have a Twitter and Facebook tie-in that automatically (or optionally) tweets or posts their check-in to all their followers. Now, typically, when I visit La Gondola Italian Restaurant or Walgreens I don’t jump on to my social networks and tell my friends. However, when I’m in line at the pharmacy or waiting for a meal, I’ll open up Foursquare and check-in with the hope for a new badge or a special.
So, say I’m at La Gondola and I check-in on Foursquare. I say something like: “best pizza in Chicago” and publish it to Twitter and Facebook. With social search, someone in my extended social network who is searching for a ‘Chicago pizza’ or ‘best pizza in Chicago’ would be exposed to this tweet or post. Given that people in my social network (or extended social network) are more likely to trust a recommendation from me, rather than say the La Gondola website, what I’ve done has influenced its online and WOM reputation.
Now, La Gondola does not currently utilize Foursquare to offer an incentive to its customers and still my Tweet and post has the potential to increase their sales. However, imagine the influence if my tweet or post said: ‘great new special, free order of bruschetta with your Foursquare check-in today.’