location based marketing man

Want to know how to encourage customer check-ins on Foursquare and create the type of specials that get results? We’ve got those tips for you and more, but first you need to understand what Foursquare location-based marketing is and how it can benefit your business.

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website for mobile phone devices such as smart phones. Users check-in at venues using a mobile web, text message, or a device-specific app by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges.”

But if you’re still not quite sure what location-based marketing is, Andrew Latham via the Houston Small Business Chronicle, has a good explanation for you: “Location-based marketing is a marketing method that changes depending on where potential clients are located.”

Andrew went on to say that, “Instead of treating customers as a monolithic entity, location-based marketing adapts to the particular social, cultural, and personal traits of customers by making assumptions about their habits and preferences based on their location at a particular moment.”

Ready to tackle Foursquare’s location-based marketing for your small business? Check out our tips below and be sure to download our free guide — Foursquare Basics: Using Location-Based Marketing to Promote Your Local Business.

3 Benefits of Foursquare’s Location-Based Marketing

  1. Consumers love it. Foursquare provides consumers with a fun way to find out what’s going on around them and what their friends are up to. In addition, the platform can take what may be a great excursion and kick it up a notch by turning the notification process into a game.
  2. Free marketing. When consumers check-in at your venue, they have the option to share on multiple social networks, pushing referrals to Facebook or Twitter. Run a special, attract customers, and let them do your marketing for you.
  3. Foursquare data. Foursquare collects a great deal of data. Review your dashboard to uncover information about your customers’ shopping habits and use it to tweak your marketing strategy.

4 Ways to Encourage Customer Check-Ins on Foursquare

  1. Display signage in key store locations such as the cash register, front door, or in your fitting rooms. (When you create a special, Foursquare will send you window clings. Watch for them in the mail.)
  2. Create a special and advertise it through your blog, e-newsletter, and social media platforms.
  3. Encourage customers to leave tips. Example: “Sit on the patio for the best view.” “Order the fries with extra vinegar.” Think of these consumer-generated tips as social referrals for your business.
  4. Celebrate your mayor. The mayor is the person who checks into your business the most. Most likely they are also your best customer, so show your appreciation.

4 Successful Types of Specials on Foursquare

  1. Discount with purchase. Example: “Spend $50 and get $10 off.” This option provides a great way to increase the average dollar per sale.
  2. Something for free. Example: “Enjoy a free dessert if you buy an appetizer and main course.” These offers are often low cost and high impact.
  3. Special treatment. One of our favorites is an example from a local zoo: “Check in on Foursquare for private access to the penguin feeding.” This option has no cost and creates a great connection.
  4. Reward your best customers. The classic special is, “Free coffee on your fifth visit.” Think of this as a digital punch card.

Leave your location-based marketing questions for us below and we’ll be glad to answer them!