Should My Business Be on Foursquare?

Isn’t this New Media world we live in exciting! LOL I know what my contractor audience is thinking, “David I can’t take it anymore! To many new toys, gadgets, sites, likes, followers…ahhh!” Well, I’m hear to tell you about another one! Actually, many of you have already heard of it. It’s called Foursquare. It is a GPS mobile app where an individual checks-in at a local business, shopping center, park, government building and so on. It is a mini social networking program where the individual can have friends connected to his or her check-ins and can comment, share, become the mayor of a business and even offer tips about the place they are visiting. Foursquare is unique in that it offers users specials based on where they check in at. The local business of course has to sign up to offer these specials. How it works: A user looks at his device, finds the name of the place he is at, clicks “Check in Here” and if there is a special, he’ll get a coupon that a business can type in a code or scan the device. Foursquare keeps track of the person’s check ins at each location and can earn points as well as become the mayor (person who has checked in the most/recent).

Now that you know the basics of Foursquare, should you 1) Use it yourself and 2) Have your business listed?

Pros of Foursquare for a Business

  • It can create customer loyalty: i.e. Some restaurants offer the “mayor” of their location a better deal than anyone else. Why not! The person shows up the most and orders from them. Reward your top clients and they’ll keep coming back. Also those who are not mayors can also get special deals for multiple check ins. So this too creates customers fighting for mayorship or to receive a free meal, drink, percentage off or something special now and then.
  • Good brand awareness: It doesn’t cost to list your business and it just gives more people opportunity to see your name.
  • Most of your competitors are not using it (yet)
  • It is growing in popularity
  • You can learn what people think of your business: people can offer tips about the businesses they visit
  • It can be addicting and fun competing with friends for points, specials and mayorships!

Cons of Foursquare for Business

  • Privacy issues: people can know where you are. This definitely bothers a lot of people!
  • It is just another thing to do…and it probably won’t bring you tons and tons of business if you are a contractor. A restaurant on the hand should definitely do it.
  • It is addicting if you use Foursquare, and most of the time, a waste of time. So if you get hooked, you might need to go to a Foursquare recovery program someday!
  • Learn what people think about your business can be depressing! Yes…and the bad you can’t delete! The more you expose your business online, the more you really have to watch and protect your reputation. This does help companies provide better customer service.
  • Check-ins don’t do much for you: For a service company that works at the consumer’s home or business, your customers won’t be checking in at your office very often. In this case, Foursquare will be primarily for brand awareness only.
  • Offering deals and specials won’t work well: Can it work? Yes. But again, most service companies won’t have customers checking in.

So are you using Foursquare now? Do you like it? Hate it or have no clue what it is!? I use Foursquare and a hundred other tools, because I’m testing out gadgets, apps, programs, for my clients. I must admit, I thought Foursquare was dumb for the longest time. I decided to swallow my pride and try it out. Well, after 6+ months of steady use…it is kind of fun. I am competitive, so I’m competing with my office manager for first place and mayorships in our city! Oh, and my business is on Foursquare. If you happen to be in my area and check in, I’ll treat you to lunch!

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

2 Comments

  • Steve says:

    Great post David! I am an avid user of Foresquare. For myself, I find it to be a good tool for a couple of reasons. 1st, when I check in to my office, “Burnett 1 800 PAINTING” will alert my friends phones and keep me top of mind to them, provided they have their alerts on. 2nd. Its a great networking tool in that it helps me to get to know new friends I meet at networking events much faster therefor connecting and relating much faster! 3rd. Foursquare allows me to promote other business to my friends! Foresquare, another opportunity to provide value,I am foresquareing it!

  • David says:

    @Steve

    Steve: Good points about Foursquare. The branding…and the networking. Forgot about the networking you can do with Foursquare! Let me know when you sell your first job that somehow is related to Foursquare! 🙂

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