Foursquare inc., (http://www.foursquare.com) is one of the hottest new Internet companies going. The location-based app uses the GPS capabilities of smart phones to encourage people to explore their communities. Foursquare does this by combining social media, friend-finder geolocation technology with game mechanics. Users earn points, win Mayorships, and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites.
Business owners can use Foursquare to engage their increasingly mobile customers with discounts and prizes. These “Specials” are offered to loyal customers when they “check in” on Foursquare at a business.
The simple but addicting game empowers business owners to create engaging, ongoing relationships with their customers. Special offers can be customized for venues and customers.
- Mayor Specials: unlocked only by the Mayor of your venue. Who's the Mayor? It's your single most loyal customer! Foursquare mayorships are distinctions awarded the users who have checked in the most in the last 60 days. ("Foursquare has deemed you the Mayor? Enjoy a free order of french fries!")
- Check-in Specials: unlocked when a user checks in to your venue a certain number of times. ("Foursquare says you've been here 10 times? That's a free drink for you!")
- Frequency-based Specials: are unlocked every X check-ins. ("Foursquare users get 20% off any entree every 5th check-in!")
- Wildcard Specials: always unlocked, but your staff has to verify some extra conditions before awarding the Special. ("Show us your foursquare Swarm badge and get a free drink!")
And thanks to Foursquare’s location aware, mobile service, even if a customer happens to check in across the street or two blocks away from your venue, Foursquare will let them know that your business gives special treatment to Foursquare users and that they should swing by for a visit.
Creative business owners cross-promote their involvement on Foursquare on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, as well as in the store. A sign at the cash register reminding customers to “Check in on Foursquare” can be quite effective. Foursquare even helps in your marketing efforts by providing official Foursquare window clings.
Businesses can track the performance of their venue over time with real-time stats including most recent visitors, most frequent visitors, time of day people check in, total number of unique visitors, histogram of check-ins per day, gender breakdown of customers and the portion of Foursquare check-ins broadcast to Facebook and Twitter, all provided by Foursquare for free.