This month we saw the unveiling of a new direction for Foursquare, the location-based social networking app. Users would, until very recently, check in at local businesses to gain points and badges, leave reviews (or “tips” in Foursquare language) and add photos. Whilst the app found wide-spread adoption largely in the US, there was considerable value in listing and marketing your business through Foursquare. Customers could check into your business, leave tips for future visitors and share their location with friends through twitter, Facebook, etc. This social proof was where the real value was derived for local businesses, as real-time, trustworthy endorsements of businesses were broadcasted to friends.
This is all changed with the release of the new-look Foursquare, users can no longer check-in, but recommend local businesses. The app will now act as more of a digital assistant than a social network, when first opening the new app users will be asked to select their taste in food, drinks, nightlife, shopping and more. This interest data will then be used to suggest restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs to you as you move around. These push notifications could prove extremely valuable to local businesses as the millions of Foursquare users who may have forgotten about the service are now being actively notified of places to go at exactly the right time – when they’re right there. Add in clever indexing of local places, have a look and you’ll see lists of “Famous Chef Approved”, “Currently Offering a Special”, “Fancy Coffees and Wifi” there is potential for driving significant footfall from the app.
If you’ve ignored Foursquare so far, or found it less promising, now is a great time to sort out your businesses profile. Foursquare is clearly aiming to claw back some of the market from Yelp, and initial reactions seem to be promising.
How do you ensure your business will be found on the new Foursquare? Follow these tips:
- Ensure good photography is prominent on your listing, photos are often the first information a potential customer will process and the first impression is almost everything!
- Fill out your profile comprehensively – if you offer free wifi, gluten-free or vegan dishes make sure Foursquare and potential customers know.
- Encourage customers to check-in and recommend your business, offer incentives and reminders in store to get customers on the app.
For a perfect example of setting up a profile, see how Honest Burgers, our ever-forward-thinking client has built and curated theirs: