Attract New Customers with Foursquare

Do you sit inside your business watching people walk by on their phones? Want to get them in your door? It’s time to take advantage of the social marketing boom with mobile apps like Foursquare. Foursquare boasts the following stats on their website:

Community: Over 30 million users worldwide
Over 3 billion check-ins, with millions more every day
Businesses: Over a million using the Merchant Platform

Foursquare leverages mobile GPS and special deals to attract new customers and reinforce loyalty to your brand. Best of all, it’s free to use and has incredible potential to grow your brand and increase sales! First, let’s start with the Foursquare Basics:

To take advantage of Foursquare, you must first create an account and claim your business. Only then can you create a series of Specials that customers can redeem when they visit your store. It’s the ideal trade; you give them a great value, and they tell their friends. It’s ultimately your responsibility to figure out which Specials most effectively grow your brand and your bottom-line! (We can help with that.)

Foursquare Set-up


The first step in any social media platform is to sign up. Signing up is easy when you use Facebook to create your account. If you’re not a fan of sharing your Facebook info, you can also use your Email address to sign up. In order for others to check-in to your business, you must first create a “Venue” for it. It is likely that a venue already exists for your business and users have been checking in to it (without you even knowing!). In this case, you can claim your venue and inherit all previous activity on your account.

Foursquare Use


On the surface, Foursquare is simple. Someone visits your brick-and-mortar business. They check-in using Foursquare. They can then take advantage of your Foursquare specials, write tips for future visitors, and share this information with their friends on Foursquare (Facebook and Twitter as well if they choose).Many people like to check-in simply to show their friends where they have been or where they go regularly. It’s used as a sort of location-based brand building tool for the average person. But the more effective way to manipulate Foursquare is by offering Specials.

A special is a deal that customers redeem when they visit your business. The Newbie Special is a bonus or discount given to a customer the first time they check in to your business, and is effective at attracting new customers. A Loyalty Special can be redeemed when a customer has checked-in at a venue a certain number of times; 3 check-ins earns a $5 discount. Clearly, it is a good way to drive repeat sales. For an example, take a look at our client: Blue Plate Diner’s Foursquare Specials Page. Businesses can implement multiple Specials simultaneously. Your job is to figure out which combination of Specials will be most effective at growing your brand and generating sales. The specifics of your business will dictate which Specials are most prudent. Enter Metrics.

Foursquare Metrics & Reporting

Foursquare provides real-time metrics on your venue activity. It may look like gibberish, but this information can be an invaluable tool in adjusting Specials and attracting customers. Metrics provided include:

  • What time of day people check in
  • What portion of check-ins are sent to Twitter and Facebook
  • Most frequent visitors
  • Gender
  • Daily check-ins
  • Recent visitors

Daily monitoring of all of this information can be confusing. It’s best to interpret it in the context of campaigns. Observe which Specials are redeemed the most and which combinations of Specials generate the most business. Foursquare is an increasingly popular marketing tool that can be used in unique ways to drive business like no other social media platform. After experimenting, many businesses have developed incredibly effective strategies and have driven their businesses to new heights. Start building your Foursquare strategy now. Contact us to learn more about how Foursquare can help drive feet through your door.

Jake Burns