Sounds like the folks at Foursquare finally realize that if they want it to be profitable (enough to sell off Foursquare and make a killing), they will have to get more local businesses involved. The more businesses involved, the more people will want to “check in” for recognition…and more importantly the deals, discounts, and offers as a result of becoming a Foursquare regular at a particular business. Additionally, the more people patronizing a business, the more value the business sees in promoting on Foursquare, the more ad dollars Foursquare can attain.
Currently, the number of businesses taking advantage of foursquare for promotions and marketing is pretty low to the tune of approximately 2,000 WORLDWIDE (I told you it was low). Before, it was up to the local business to find or add their business on foursquare, and then manage their own Foursquare-related business (promotions, deals, etc). Well, it still is their responsibility; Foursquare is just making it easier to do so.
For starters, for every unclaimed business on Foursquare, they have added the link “Are you the manager of this business?” under the businesses information. After they go through a validation process, Foursquare will call and set them up with some marketing goodies (like an online dashboard so that businesses can create and manage their own Foursquare specials, deals, and promotions. Additionally, the dashboard will give business managers to ability to track their promotions via real-time analytics included with the dashboard. With the dashboard, managers can analyze:
• most recent visitors
• most frequent visitors
• the time of day people check in
• total number of unique visitors
• histogram of check-ins per day
• gender breakdown of customers
• portion of foursquare check-ins broadcast to Twitter and Facebook
Foursquare even has offered businesses cool window decals to let Foursquare patrons know that this business is “Foursquare Friendly” (I just made that up), thus encouraging customers to whip out their smartphones and check-in!
You know a brotha loves free, so I just thought I’d mention that Foursquare for business is free. Businesses looking to tap into the rage that is Foursquare can do so without charge. But again, it’s still up to local businesses that are already busy enough managing their regular customer traffic to reach out and engage their mobile customers.
Tending to a virtual dashboard to cater specifically to a small, mobile crowd may initially seem challenging to some businesses who are just trying to stay afloat in this rocky financial climate. But as mobile technology continues to grow, so will people looking to whip out their smartphones and other mobile gadgets for enjoyment, and to save a buck or two. As a result, it behooves any business to jump on the technology bandwagon (especially if it’s free) in order to grow their customer base, so they can cater to that ever-growing customer who is more likely to want to become “Mayor” of their local food joint so they can get free French fries with their order…and then tell ALL their friends about it too! (Word of mouth is still king).Category: web 2.0 | Tags: Business, foursquare, geolocation