How to market your business on Foursquare
This week saw Foursquare reach a membership milestone, with more than 10 million people now signed up to the service.
Foursquare is a social media enterprise that allows users to share their location by checking-in via mobile phone apps, with badges and titles available to those who take it seriously.
The announcement was accompanied by a nice little infographic on the Foursquare blog showing check-ins around the globe and pulling out some stats (like bank with the most check-ins, number of check-ins in German beer halls etc).
With membership booming, Foursquare offers a great marketing opportunity, particularly for consumer-facing businesses with physical locations.
The Barista Badge from Starbucks is perhaps the most famous example and one that even small brands can learn from.
According to Foursquarebadges.com, which claims to list all active Foursquare badges, you can earn the Barista Badge by checking in at five different Starbucks restaurants. Badge holders are entitled to a free latte for a friend.
The concept of Foursquare badges is pretty simple – come to my establishment a bunch of times and publicise your visits (Foursquare updates are Tweeted automatically by members with synched accounts) and, in exchange, you get some free stuff.
These sorts of campaigns aren't restricted to Foursquare. Twitter, Facebook and Google all have their own location-based services.
The principle though still applies. A small cafe could offer free cup cakes with every coffee order for anyone who tweets from the queue every day for a week. It's a little more 21st century than your free coffee stamps and has the added benefit of publicising the cafe to each customer's Twitter followers.
Getting solid stats on the number of Foursquare users in Australia is tricky, but based on the number of check-ins posted to Twitter, its popularity in Sydney is on a par with some American cities.