Foursquare is something that every business owner should look into. The location-based service has been getting a lot of attention in the recent months and it has certainly gained a lot of users.
Also, it makes it easier for businesses to get new customers while also retaining existing ones. Here are four best practices when you have a foursquare venue:
1. Claim your venue on Foursquare
There is very little that you can do on foursquare if you do not claim your venue. It is basically a process that tells Foursquare that you are the owner of a particular venue or location.
But first, check to see if your store already has a venue on foursquare. You can just go ahead and claim it.
If you still do not have a venue, create one by clicking on "Add a new venue to foursquare" at the bottom of the search page.
Or go to this page: https://foursquare.com/add_venue.
After adding your venue, it is now time to claim it. Start by clicking on the "Claim here" link at the right hand side of the page.
Go through the wizard and just follow the instructions. Make sure that you understand and read the terms on this page: https://foursquare.com/legal/venueterms
2. Set up a special for your foursquare venue
Every customer wants to be recognized so it really helps if you put up a special to attract new customers or keep existing ones. Setting up a special on foursquare is easy; the hard part is the planning.
Before you start your special, you should know whether you want to attract new customers or to keep or reward existing ones.
There are seven specials available on foursquare now and each of these has its own mechanics. Choose the one which serves your purpose.
For example if you want to reward your loyal customers, you should choose the loyalty special and reward them after five or ten check-ins. Or if you want more people into your store, try the friends or swarm special.
3. Promote your foursquare venue
You may think that having people check into your venue is something that they should initiate. It is true that your customers will need to fire up their smartphones' foursquare app, search for your venue and then check in, but there are some ways to make it easier.
a. Advertise your venue or specials. When you set up your specials or venue, be sure to tell your customers about it. Have in-store posters or window ads telling people about the specials that you have or just ask them to check into your venue.
b. Provide Wi-Fi connection. If your store is in an area that does not have a Wi-Fi connection, then consider sharing yours.
It is very easy to set up a wireless LAN around your store, and having a Wi-Fi connection can surely increase your check-ins especially among those who do not have unlimited data plans.
c. Make it easier for customers to claim your specials. Make sure that you educate your customers and staff about the mechanics of your discount specials and loyalty programs.
d. Encourage your visitors to leave tips. Your venue's tips can serve as your virtual suggestion box. Or it could serve as your social recommendation engine.
Tips may be positive or negative. For example, having a tip like "Try out their long island iced tea, it's the best!" could very well urge other visitors to order your long island iced tea. That is social recommendation at its best!
However, you might want to look for negative tips. These are your areas for improvement. One local business had a negative tip about a rude cashier, so its management investigated and found it to be true, causing it to immediately fire the cashier.
Other tips might involve your facilities such as dirty restrooms, inaccessibility to those using wheelchairs or problems with parking. Be sure to take note of these negative comments and try to address or remedy them.
4. It's a game! Foursquare is essentially a game to most people. This is what makes foursquare fun and addictive. But more than this, it is the competition that gets people hooked. As a business, be sure to tap into this aspect.
Starting from the process of promoting your venue to making people come back to it, you should give out incentives. For instance:
a.) Mayors are given special rewards and discounts. This would encourage your customers to check-in more often and to come to your store as frequently as they can.
b.) Everybody is a winner. A free drink for your customer the first time they check-in.
c.) Loyalty check. Use frequency-based specials to reward your loyal customers. Everyone who checks into your store 10 times, for example, gets 10% off your merchandise.
d.) Best tips. Reward the person who left the best tip for the month.