Do Location Based Social Media Platforms Work?

Foursquare Is Another Social Platform But With A Difference

Foursquare is a service that helps you find where your friends are, get tips and reviews from other users and special offers and deals from businesses. Plus along the way you can score points and collect badges and rewards for checking in at different places.

So if you want to get started you need firstly to download one of Foursquare’s mobile applications to your phone and sign up for an account.

Second on the list is to check in somewhere, your phones GPS will find your current location and a list of location that you can check into.  You can find friends that are checked in to local places, find businesses with special deals and offers locally.

If you are the person that has checked in somewhere more than any other Foursquare users you will become the Mayor! Sometimes businesses reward loyalty and will give the mayor special discounts or freebies.

Foursquare had 381,576,300 individual user check-ins, 6 million users and a 3400% growth in 2012 alone. So it’s safe to say that location-based services are no longer a fad. Just a few weeks ago, Foursquare announced their “Foursquare for Business” page, which existing businesses utilizing the service may not see as terribly different. But for companies yet to involve themselves with the service, this re-launch makes it much easier to become a part of it.

The best thing about Foursquare for Business is that it is a completely free service (other than a minimal investment in time).

So what can Foursquare do for your business? Firstly you must have premises that people can check into, secondly you have opportunity to monitor who checks in, when and how often! You can give incentives and offers through Foursquare to either all Foursquare users or reward loyal customers and give a deal just to the mayor.

So how big is Foursquare? It’s massive in the US and usually whatever works there comes across to the UKs. Foursquare is steadily growing in the UK with a concentration of offers in the big cities and London in particular.

For a business that has a physical location, Foursquare has opened up new marketing opportunities on its platform. Venue owners should first claim a business location, then create a special for users who check in, and finally analyze data from their Foursquare campaigns to generate maximum foot traffic. A Foursquare special is traditionally some type of discount at a specific location. For example, a retail store may offer a 10 percent discount on one item if a person checks into their location on Foursquare. The idea behind specials on Foursquare is to create an other that makes people want to check-in, so that your business will be exposed to that person’s Foursquare friends.

 Competitors

Facebook “Places” that was initially offered as a separate feature in 2010, has since been integrated into Facebook as an ‘Add to Map’ option. This is in line with Facebook’s strategy of making location a core part of its product, not a separate check-in feature.

This will assist Facebook in providing more finite accurate data over time for its database that it will use in geo-targeting down to a postcode level for its Facebook self serve advertising feature.

Facebook paid marketing will then become useful for local businesses who need to target their local area and suburb not just an entire city.

So, Does it work?

Turning a game into a meaningful commerce platform that benefits retailers is what will make it a success in the future. It will also need a large participating community that connects consumers and retailers

Foursquare has been trialed by McDonald’s which saw it drive a significant increase in check-ins (33%) on the day it offered 100 gift cards to Foursquare users who checked into one of McDonald’s 14,000 stores.

The bottom line is that if you are a venue owner, you should at least claim your ‘venue’ and consider offering a special.
Foursquare is best known for letting smartphone users tell others about the restaurants and other places they are at, but people are increasingly using it to find nearby places to go to. Now, the mobile app is getting a makeover that turns the focus to this sort of exploration.

Finally, It’s a Free App and worth having in your smartphone at all times. The next time you head to the park, you’ll also check the quirky coffee shop nearby based on someone’s recommendation!

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