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    Four Square for Local Business

    Sam Mutimer

    Picture is from the Foursquare site – www.foursquare.com

    Four square is starting to become a big game player for local business this year, so pay attention! It’s powerful location based marketing channel mixed in with its addictive game feature makes this application a place not to turn your nose up to!
    In the words of Foursquare – “Foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so.”
    So what is Foursquare?
    Foursquare is a mobile application where people update where they are at..right now! eg. I’m @georges car yard, 23 darling street, Melbourne. People also have the opportunity to comment about the place they are at – eg. I’m getting my baby seat fitted by George, great guy! They are also approved fitters.Check them out!
    This update/ “shout” is shared with their friends on foursquare (as well as twitter and facebook – if they choose it to be published there too) a map is also pulled up so you know exactly where they are. This is called Geotagging. The person updating also receives points each time they “check in” to a place, adding to the competitive streak which makes Foursquare so successful.
    So why are people using foursquare and how can it assist your locally based business?
    So, you may be thinking along similar lines to when you found out about twitter, ” why the heck do I want to tell someone what I am doing”…well, I’m guessing you know why twitter has sky rocketed…so why are people telling you where they are..and how can this benefit your business?
    As humans, we love to share and connect. Foursquare has these qualities embedded in with the whole competitive nature, giving people a compelling reason to “check in” to a place (eg. bar/coffee shop/hotel/restaurant) . Once you check in to a place you gain points. The person with the most check ins to that particular place becomes the Major. So on one side, people are competing to be the Major of a specific place – eg “The Social Bar” in Melbourne – yet on the flip side, the business also has the opportunity to encourage people to “check in”, as they can receive rewards – eg. a free pint. If someone is in your area, there are also ways to highlight to them that your business is nearby and to come and check in for eg. a discounted meal!
    Foursquare for business now offers this service, so you may want to drop in there after reading this post. If you also want to know how to use foursquare then the foursquare site will give you the low down!
    So, to make this post even more powerful, I wanted to share with you how a local based business in MelbourneCaroline Serviced Apartments ( short/long term serviced apartments), is using Foursquare to their advantage!
    They are asking for people to visit one of their properties (in Brighton or South Yarra) and ‘check-in’ on Foursquare at the venue sometime before 2pm Friday 16th April, to win a prize !
    So CSA are using foursquare to:
    1. build up brand awareness
    2. showcase their apartments
    3. meet people entering the competition face to face (for an even warmer presence)
    4. giving a value add (prize).
    5. assisting bloggers like myself to write a post utilising them as the case study/ example.
    6. assisting people on twitter/facebook to spread their competition (blog post too) as it’s such a great example of a business using foursquare.
    7. gain that trusted word of mouth that we all crave for!
    I now believe they are offering a loyalty program for their guests. Four Square for business is a free business program that has built in stats for all that visit/speak about your business. It can tell you who has visited your business the most to the number of check ins in a specific time, so….it’s a no brainer why CSA are utilising this.
    Love it! So, are you a locally based business? Have you/are you reaping the benefits of foursquare? or simply…what are your thoughts on this powerful 2010 player? Hit me up below 😉