Emerging Social Media: Foursquare

By Annie Almasi, Vollrath Associates, www.vollrathpr.com

Many of our clients have just gotten comfortable using Facebook and Twitter to connect with customers and now we’re being introduced to a new kid on the block – Foursquare. If you are considering integrating Foursquare into your social media circle, you’re well on your way to becoming more popular.

Foursquare is taking social media to the streets via GPS and mobile phones. This location-based social media allows customers to interact with friends and businesses in their neighborhood. Customers simply "check-in" to a location on their mobile device and receive promotional offers from nearby companies or connect with friends who are geographically close by.

Here are four ways in which companies have found success using Foursquare to boost product sales and increase brand awareness.

  • Create incentives for new customers – Offering incentives using Foursquare can provide an instant interaction between brand and consumer. By offering a discount or even a free demo to those who "check-in" at a company location, consumers will feel as though they are receiving special care.
  • Location-based customer reviews – Consumers can leave their feedback and reviews of companies on Foursquare. With the emergence and development of "augmented reality," customer comments can be viewed by location within the store with a mobile phone camera.
  • Maximize the success of events – A Foursquare “check-in” for a company can increase productivity during large events. Upon check-in, companies will be able to see how many attendees are at events. Sales and marketing teams can utilize Foursquare as a marketing tool to meet prospective clients and customers during trade shows or networking events.
  • Market intelligence – Foursquare announced it will release a free analytics tool that will provide businesses with information and statistics about the customers who visit and “check-in” at their business locations. This information will offer businesses insight into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and strategies.

Those who have taken the time to get to know Foursquare have been pleasantly surprised by its capabilities, ease of use and how nicely it works with Facebook and Twitter. So if you’re looking to expand your geographic reach, Foursquare may just be your new best friend.

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