A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, we pondered why print companies (and small businesses) should play Foursquare. That was more than a year ago which means our small company has been playing Foursquare for two years now. During that time, we’ve had great successes with social marketing and Foursquare is a significant piece to the puzzle.
As you may know, our small business has a strict social marketing plan. On a daily basis we spend time on specific networks to ensure we engage and provide a unique experience for each. No, we don’t regurgitate marketing language everywhere, but rather embrace and fully realize each platform as best as we can. Doing this not only does wonders for web traffic and branding, but its also a fun and educational experience for us. The more we “socialize” online the more we understand each social network.
This being said, I can honestly say we get very little check-ins as a print shop. I’m working on that. But there’s more to Foursquare than that. Here are some tips and methods for small businesses utilizing Foursquare.
1. Realize that checking in to Foursquare alone isn’t enough. When signing up to Foursquare, prepare yourself to do more than just checking in. There are many layers to Foursquare worth exploring and participating. In the end, on days I don’t have much to say, I still check in.
2. Comment everywhere. When checking in, try to leave a comment of some sort for each check in. Remember, your representing your company.
3. Photo Sharing. Foursquare allows you to take a picture at check-ins. Photo-sharing is huge and images take up more real estate on the screen which means they are probably more likely to grab your followers’ attention.
4. Leave Tips. Foursquare allows users to leave tip at any check in location. Any place you have unique knowledge or information, leave a tip for others to enjoy. They may put your tips on their “to-do” list, which is great for awareness and brand recognition. When leaving a tip somewhere, remember that you’re representing your small business, so please be aware.
5. Actually do things When you come across tips that seem interesting to you, put them on our to-do list then actually do them sometime. Once you mark, them done, the original tipster receives a message.
6. Earn badges. You can earn badges by simply playing the game. There are also badges for many other reasons. Badges are just cool and makes you look like a legitimate player, which you should be. No one wants to be friends with a half-ass player and badges show you’re the real deal. Here is a list of some Foursquare badges and how to get them.
7. Get some mayorships. As you play Foursquare, you will find spots that are less frequently checked in. You should check in at those places and get some mayorships under your belt. Also, target a few popular places your commonly visit and check in A LOT. Earning mayorships at popular places will get you recognition. You will probably lose the mayorship once in a while, but the previous mayor is informed when you gain it back.
8. Offer rewards. You can offer rewards and coupons to those that check-in and mayors. Don’t hesitate to offer an awesome deal to both. Remember, you’re trying to attract new customers into your place. No one is going to care to be mayor of your location if your deal for them sucks. Make checking in and mayorships at your location worthwhile.
9. Get help. Ask a trustworthy and quirky employee or staff member share the responsibility of using Foursquare. On days I’m busy, I know another person is continuing to build our notoriety.
10. Offer Incentives… to everyone! Offer specials to all Foursquare users to help entice them to your venue and encourage return visits. Attract people with a first-time check in special to encourage them to check out your venue, and offer them specials when they return to your venue to continually attract them back! Foursquare users are incredibly loyal if they feel loved every time they check-in.
11. Use Instagram photos. Sometimes, I share photos I’ve already shared on Instagram because they look great. Oh no! Another social network.
12. Give insider tips. Simple tips like which band will be performing on Friday night, take advantage of a daily deal, or which shirt design will go on sale next week, etc. This is very cool for Foursquare users and it encourages them to spread the word and let others know what they know about your business.
13. Create Sub-Locations. Scott Wise brought a plastic kayak in to his restaurant Scotty’s Lakehouse for one day so users could earn an “I’m On A Boat” badge, simply by getting into the boat and shouting: “I’m on a boat.” Wise says sales for that day nearly doubled, and he even picked up some local media attention.
14. Create a List Foursquare allows you to create a list of locations that could be helpful to others. It could also lead to extra exposure. Learn more about lists.
15. Listen. Always pay attention to what people are saying on Foursquare about your small business. Whether you personally use it or not (and you should!), you have to monitor it because people will be interacting and talking about your business if your venue is active. Always monitor what is being said and interact with your customers to learn about new ways to make your venue experience better for your customers
- Should Print Shops Play Foursquare?
- Finally, Foursquare Makes Business Pages Easy
- Enhancing Our Brand Through Instagram
- 21 Tips To Gain Followers on Instagram
- Ways Small Businesses Can Stick To A Social Marketing Plan
- How Instagram Can Help Your Business
- 20 Ways To Grow Your Mailing List – The Right Way.
- 5 Awesome Social Platforms to Show Off Your Company’s Products
- 10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Use Pinterest
- Tips to Running a Successful Facebook Ad Campaign
- Why Our Small Business Only Advertises Online
- Dealing With Negative Reviews On Sites Like Yelp
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