We all know how annoying it is to hear from Bill that “I’m at Applebee’s Neighborhood & Grill (Poughkeepsie, NY)”. It fills up our Facebook/Twitter feed with nonsense, stalker loving information. However, the people that avidly use foursquare continue to for a reason.
So what is foursquare and why should you use it?
foursquare, is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users “check-in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby.
Think of it as a coffee punch card that requires a certain amount of drinks to be bought for you to receive a free/ discounted product. foursquare operates in the same way. If I forget my coffee card, I lose that day’s purchase towards a discount. If I forget to “Check In” on foursquare while at the business, I lose the opportunity to receive a step towards a discount.
Even if discounts aren’t available, users earn points and compete with others.
Some businesses, particularly Car Auto Bodies, offer a discount every time that you “check in” with them. Maybe they offer a few dollars off of an oil change or a free tire-rotation. These companies are investing in social media. Just checking in at a restaurant may provide a deal even at your first check-in. If you become the Mayor, the most frequent customer, you receive additional discounts.
Gym membership? What about 1 month free with the referral of a friend. Cell phone, check in and receive $25 off a new phone. I personally love clothing and shoe store discounts
Bring your friends
Some establishments will award you for bringing a group of your friends. Think of it this way, a free drink for everyone that comes to the restaurant with you and that logs in. What is the advantage? You’re obviously not going to just get that one drink. This is called “swarming”.
For your business
- Opportunity to hear feedback about restaurant
- Incentives for returning customers
- Promotes large groups to enter
- Offering specials puts your business on the map
- Every time that someone checks in, they are advertising for your business
At the very least, claim your venue and make sure someone can check-in to your business.
Remember, you are only losing money if you don’t take the time to learn how to harness social media
So what are you waiting for? Smart-phones are an expensive thing to own, which is why you should use any discount opportunity available. Similarly, businesses should use this to get people into their stores.
For those against foursquare
Do you think Facebook or Google+ check-ins are the only way to go? What harm is there in operating every check-in system imaginable? Excessive sales? Sign me up
Isn’t it stalking? What if my friends see that I am at a restaurant and decide to break into my house and steal my valuables? Well, they’re not a friend and that is the chance we all take every single day. Rationalize it this way, if you are friends with someone on foursquare and they see that you left your house to be at a restaurant, they must know you pretty well. What is stopping them from breaking into your house when you’re at work? Nothing! If anything, breaking in while you are at a restaurant is more difficult as the time stamps on foursquare are not specific enough.
Do you use foursquare? What do you think of it?