Part 3 of my series on FourSquare was very long in coming, but I hope you will find it to be worth the wait. I recently had the opportunity to interview Matt Weygandt, co-owner of the Barriques Market in Madison. I had inquired to my Twitter followers, who in Madison was using FourSquare for business? Barriques was repeatedly the answer I received to my question. Barriques offers check-in specials and mayor specials for FourSquare users.
I was already going to be on the road with Wendy Soucie and Ellie Humphrey of the Social Media Club and Social Media Breakfast groups I belong to in Madison for our #LincolnDriveBy Social Media road trip, so I asked Matt if you would be willing to be a stop on our trip and also let me double up and do a quick video interview regarding his use of FourSquare. Matt was a very gracious host, and an excellent interview subject with lots of great insights. See the videos below or view them on my YouTube channel. I welcome your comments.
The quick and dirty answer is anyone who owns a business that sells a product or service where customers actually visit their place of business (in other words, location-based businesses).
Specific kinds of businesses that can benefit from using FourSquare include restaurants, retail shops, hotels, bars and really anywhere customers can eat, drink, sleep or shop.
According to FourSquare:
FourSquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so. We do this by combining our friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics — our users earn points, win Mayorships and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites.
The Social Media Breakfast Madison group meets the third Wednesday of each month at Talula restaurant in Madison. With 40-50 active social media professionals visiting this location each month, Talula is an example of the kind of business that’s perfectly positioned to benefit from location-based social media tools. Why not take advantage of the no-cost or low-cost opportunities to reward these very eager social media users for frequenting the venue? FourSquare and Twitter provide easy ways to promote your sales or specials, build loyalty by offering up badges or other rewards, or simply make it easier for satisfied customers to spread the word about your business in an @ mention or direct message on Twitter.
One business that really gets FourSquare, and has used it to its advantage is AJ Bombers in Milwaukee. This business actively engage with customers on FourSquare, Twitter and facebook. AJ Bombers has become not only a popular location in Milwaukee for burger enthusiasts, but a place that techies and the Social Media savvy seek out due to the restaurant’s enthusiastic embrace of FourSquare and Twitter.
According to FourSquare, businesses can and should use some of the following ideas to increase customer engagement:
Mayor Specials: unlocked only by the Mayor of your venue. Who’s the Mayor? It’s your single most loyal customer! (the user who has 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!”)
So aside from businesses who want to increase traffic to their venues and gain customer loyalty through the competitive gaming aspect of FourSquare, others who should use FourSquare are those who want to play the “mayor game” and earn “badges”, “rewards” and the bragging rights involved with all of this.
FourSquare users can promote their favorite business simply by checking in, but can and should also offer tips about these venues. In the spirit of social media, this is all done with no “expectation” of a return. But, if used correctly, FourSquare provides a built-in reward system for dedicated users. The reward for businesses is continued patronage by their loyal fans and free marketing courtesy of their best customers.
Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion as to Who Should Use FourSquare. Check back here soon for: 4 Blog Posts About FourSquare: Part 3 – A Case Study of Successful Engagement via FourSquare.