Foursquare: The basics

You might have seen notifications from friends saying that they have checked into a certain location using Foursquare, but might not know what it is. Foursquare isn’t for everyone, but the 30 million people who do use it tend to be fairly heavy users, meaning it can take just a few check-ins at a location to be quite influential. But what exactly is it?

Foursquare logo

Foursquare, put simply, is a way to show people where you are. For example, if you go to a new restaurant and want to let people know, you can check in at that location to notify your friends that you are there. You will be able to see how many other people have also checked in at that restaurant, so you can get an idea of how popular it might be.

While it’s not useful for all businesses, if you have a physical shop or site that people can visit, it can be a really useful method of marketing if your customers can check in to your shop on Foursquare. You don’t have to be a member to see the updates of users, so it’s a really valuable way to get recommendations from friends and to see where people are going in your town. This is like a digital marketing equivalent of word of mouth recommendations. Once people are exposed to your company name, the marketing has worked.

It’s also good for the users because the more they check in, the better Foursquare becomes at recommending places for them to try based on their previous visits. For example, if the user frequently checks in at independent coffee shops, the app will start to recommend more similar cafes. If you own one of these establishments, you could be recommended without having to do anything more complicated than checking if your site is registered for check ins.

To encourage people to check in, lots of venues offer special deals or discounts for checked-in users. This could be a good way to get your first check ins to make people feel comfortable about doing so in the future. People can also gain a status in relation to your site based on the number of check ins, so for instance, the person with the most check ins at a location can move up the ranks to become the ‘mayor’ of that place – another incentive for people to make their location known to their friends.

Make sure your brand page is up to date and think about setting up exclusive tips and offers for customers who check in at your venue. This is a really unique form of social media, and should be embraced. For more information on social media methods you can use to fuel your digital marketing campaign, get in touch with Artemis and we’ll be happy to explain more.