What is foursquare?

Foursquare is a location-based social media tool for mobile devices

Foursquare is a location based social networking platform that allows users to review a place or a brand based on the opinions and recommendations of friends within their foursquare network.

The foursquare platform works through GPS enabled mobile phone devices such as the iPhone and other smart phones. Users check-in at locations such as bars, cafés, restaurants and shops and leave reviews on products and services for their friends and the general foursquare community.

Users grow their profile and compete with friends on foursquare by collecting points and badges when they check in to new places or when they check in regularly at various venues. The objective from a user perspective is to progress from a Newbie to an Adventurer, an Explorer and onto Superstar status based on how many venues they check in to with 50 plus check-ins required for Superstar status.

Super users have the ability to create, edit and merge (duplicate) venues and effectively act as an integral part of maintaining a successful online community.

Foursquare is similar to the check-in service on Facebook and superceded the Facebook application as a form of location-based social networking. Businesses that register with foursquare expose their brand to a growing network of people and all activity at your venue can be tracked through the venue stats interface in your foursquare account.

The competitive and interactive nature of foursquare makes it distinctly different from other social media applications and has a positive impact on how the community develops as users try to be the first of their friends to check into and recommend new or trendy locations or brands.

Can foursquare help my business?

For businesses willing to accept foursquare as a promotional tool it can be an extremely useful and cost-effective means of spreading awareness of your business. Offering discounts and/or specials to the foursquare community in order to breed a culture of referrals and recommendations amongst your existing customers can positively impact on sales.

Many businesses in Australia are already using foursquare successfully in this regard. Actively promoting foursquare at your venue and encouraging customers to check-in, review your business and leave tips for their foursquare friends will positively impact on spreading the word – as long as your business lives up to the value you claim to deliver.

Foursquare is free to use and small businesses such as restaurants and cafés successfully market their products and services through this social platform – as an example cafés might offer a free coffee to someone checking into their premises on foursquare for the fifth occasion.

The effect of people using foursquare can build awareness of your business where it may not otherwise exist. For example, if a foursquare user checks into an office building in Melbourne CBD, he or she would be prompted through their mobile phone about any locations friends have recommended or reviewed, and as a result they may try that place for lunch.

As a referral tool and a means of generating repeat business, foursquare can definitely have a positive impact on small businesses in Australia. The key to a successful social media presence is extending your reach and delivering consistent value which customers are likely to recommend. This digital word-of-mouth is a cost-effective means of sustaining the success of your business, so proactively using foursquare as part of your social media optimisation strategy is recommended.

To get the most from your online presence, contact roi.com.au today on 1300 650 274!

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