As Foursquare approaches 6 million worldwide users, it has become more and more valuable for brick and mortar businesses to verify their business with the service and offer incentives to get more people in the door.
We’ll walk you through how to sign your business up for Foursquare and offer deals and promotions that will have customers lining up.
First thing’s first: Verify your business
Claim your spot in the world of Foursquare by verifying your business. Doing this will allow you to promote specials to Foursquare users and view the demographics of people who check in. Here’s how it works:
- Create a Foursquare account. Click here to get started.
- After creating your account, search for your business in the search bar at the top of your screen. (Chances are someone has created the location on Foursquare by now).
- Click the “Claim Venue” link (pictured) to start the verification process. You’ll have to provide your business’s email address and phone number so Foursquare can call and verify.
Create a special to reward your valued customers and draw in new traffic
According to John Coe in The Fundamentals of Business To Business Sales and Marketing, “68% of long-term customers stop buying because they just don’t feel loved.” What if you had a rewards program that was powered by Foursquare? What if a customer received 10% off every fifth visit? Foursquare makes it easy to keep track of visits and reward your more loyal patrons with mobile coupons, prizes, discounts, or other bonuses.
Here’s how it works:
- After Foursquare gets in touch with you and verifies your business, you have the option to use the Merchant Platform to set up a special for your venue. This can be as simple as offering a free drink to anyone who checks in, to offering discounts after someone checks in a certain number of times. Click here to see the special options Foursquare offers.
- When a Foursquare user is nearby, the system will mark your business with a “Special” badge to let them know you have an offer. Foursquare also offers free stickers for your shop’s window to let passersby know you have a special.
- Once a customer qualifies for a special, an “unlock” screen will show up on their smartphone. Train your employees to recognize this so they can give the customer his reward.
Get to know your customers by tracking who checks in
When it comes to analytics, Foursquare makes it easy to find your male to female ratio, who your regular customers are, the time of day you get the most check-ins, and how your customers checking in compares to the customers who are signed up for your loyalty program. You can also see which customers are sharing their check ins on Facebook or Twitter and spreading the word to their friends and followers.
If used correctly, it can yield lots of useful data. If women dominate your store, you can change your marketing to appeal to more men, for example.
To view the stats, visit your venue’s page after you have verified it with Foursquare.
by Michael Cohn · Published · Updated
Foursquare: what is it and how do you use it for business? Foursquare is a social media channel with tremendous potential to attract customers. It is very effective for your business and will definitely contribute to your business’s success.
Foursquare allows you to know where your customers are at any given time. This deepens the connection that you have with them. This connection gives you deep insight into your customers. It can also help you to identify the thinking of your customers through their visiting patterns.
Additionally, Foursquare will allow you to track what your customers are saying about your brand. This is vitally important because you gain customers through word of mouth connections and the people who are paying attention to your brand and your business will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, etc.
Engaging your customers
Foursquare helps you to engage your customers, especially those customers who are on the go a great deal of the time. It is much easier to communicate about all of your offerings if your messages reach your customers wherever they may be instead of having to wait for them to read your messages at the end of the day or at the end of their business trip. We are now in the age of instant gratification and instant information. Foursquare really helps make that easier for you as a business owner.
Enticing your customers
The Foursquare premise is based on checking into places around the neighborhood and within your online communities. When your customers check in, they are rewarded. The concept is often referred to as a game.
The following are some tools that will allow you to connect easily with your customers through Foursquare:
- Mayor specials: These specials can only be released by the Mayor of that particular community. The Mayor is your most loyal customer (you determine this by identifying the user who has checked in the most in the last two months). Once you have identified the Mayor, you should reward him or her with a special little gift.
- Wildcard specials: Wildcard specials are always available. However, your customers have to qualify before they can take advantage of those specials.
- Check-in specials: The specials are not released to the customer until they check in a certain number of times (you can set that number).
- Frequency-based specials: These specials are released every certain number of check-in times.
Communicating with your customers
When you are reading the customers’ comments, you will be able to glean a lot of value that you can apply to your business. It is very important for you to interact with your customers after you have become aware of how they are thinking and feeling. However, before you do interact with them, it is essential that you really listen to what they are saying.
That customer feedback will contain information on what your customers want and need from you. The more you pay attention to the needs and wants of your customers, the closer they will feel to you and the stronger your relationships with them will become. You can use Foursquare as your vehicle to keep in touch with your customers and to continue strengthening your relationships with them.
Measuring the success of your business on Foursquare
You can monitor the total amount of people who check in, the users who share updates on Twitter and Facebook and the number of unique visitors. Also, you are able to track the demographics of the users on Foursquare.
Once you are armed with that information, you can use it to reward your loyal customers. When you reward your customers, they want to be in a relationship with you. Everyone loves to be rewarded. The stronger your relationships become with your customers, the more those customers will tell other people about your business and recommend that those other people also become your customers.
Foursquare gives you a very good opportunity to increase the visibility of your business online, to strengthen your credibility, increase brand identity and awareness, and give your customers the feeling that they are important to you.
Exploring the neighborhood
With Foursquare, you are rewarded for checking into your community. As people build their communities on Foursquare, the interactions become more and more interesting. The more they check in, the more they are rewarded. The incentives make them want to keep interacting. When your customers check into a certain location, they will see which particular promotions you are offering. Everyone loves to get something for nothing or at least for doing very little.
Foursquare is an effective way of doing business and it is a great way to get your customers excited about your business and your business offerings. Your customers will find the Foursquare approach fun, interesting and entertaining. Because you have their attention, they will be connecting with you on a regular basis.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
Ramon Ray, Founder of Small Biz Technology, recently had the opportunity to speak with Nina Yiamsamatha, who’s part of the small business marketing team at Foursquare. For those who don’t know what Foursquare is – it’s a mobile app that people use to find places to go – and it’s a very powerful tool for small business.
Foursquare is an amazingly powerful tool for small businesses to capture the local consumer. While Google or Bing searches are great, Foursquare offers a more refined search ability by capturing what the user likes based on check-ins and search preferences.
In the interview, Nina gives us a Foursquare 101 lesson and shares some tips and strategies on how you can best utilize the power of Foursquare for your business, including how to boost your business through promotion and advertising. Watch the video below:
Did you catch all those tips that Nina offered? Here’s they are again – plus a few more:
1. Make sure your business is listed on Foursquare.
2. Claim your listing on Foursquare.
3. Optimize your listing by adding a business description, your hours of operation, your website link, social media links, menus (if applicable) and other important details like wifi, delivery, payment options, etc.
4. Use the Foursquare advertising solutions to boost your business.
5. Upload photos so that people can see what you are providing.
6. Add tips so local travelers can see everything that you have to offer.
7. Create a list of your tips, and those of businesses around you, so that people can see that you are invested in the local area.
8. Use local updates to engage with customers who have checked into your business.
9. Offer a Foursquare special.
10. Use Foursquare analytic tools to monitor how you’re doing and engaging with users.
Using these tips, you can create an effective Foursquare presence and start grabbing local foot traffic to your business.
Already using Foursquare for business? Share your site and tips for success in the comments below.
Republished by permission. Original here.
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Foursquare, check in! | Mijn visie op Online Marketing
Some would say that Foursquare has blasted into the scene of location based social networking applications with a vengeance. I would tend to agree with that sentiment. The best way to describe the service is to actually use the source. From the Foursquare site:
People use foursquare to “check-in”, which is a way of telling us your whereabouts. When you check-in someplace, we’ll tell your friends where they can find you and recommend places to go & things to do nearby. People check-in at all kind of places – cafes, bars, restaurants, parks, homes, offices.
You’ll find that as your friends use foursquare to check-in, you’ll start learning more about the places they frequent. Not only is it a great way to meet up with nearby friends, but you’ll also start to learn about their favorite spots and the new places they discover.
I will be completely honest with you (side note: I love that saying because it is a funny thing to say… just so you know… I will always be completely honest with you) I have not realized the full potential of Foursquare personally but I have seen it being used across a multitude of different users… from power users to newbies.
What I strive to accomplish while writing this blog is to give the reader practical uses of emerging digital technology and ideas to use them effectively. So let’s get this party started!
1. Encourage Foursquare Users to Check in and Post Reviews about Your Location
Foursquare allows a user to view where their friends have been within 3 hours of a certain update. This could have huge potential for a hotel chain. David Fleet mentioned in his blog post, Foursquare’s Potential for Hyper Local Marketing, the advantages of using Foursquare to check where your friends have stayed (the night) in a given location. A hotel, sauna, or day spa could encourage Foursquare users to check into a given location and put brief thoughts about the service in their tip updated.
Example : Give users of Foursquare a discount on their tab for a favorable tip update. (This could also be applied to any social network)
2. Use the Points Structure of Foursquare to Support a Local Charity
Users will gain points when they accomplish certain activities like checking in, making multiple stops in a day, adding a new venue, making a repeat visit, or consecutively checking into a certain location. Encourage users to rack up the points and put a value to the points they are accruing (Ex: $0.04 per point). At the end of the promotion donate the amount of money to a charity. This encourages visits to your business and gives back to those who need our help!
3. Use the “Mayor” Status as a Perk – You Become an Authority Figure
The user that checks in the most at a certain location will gain the notoriety of becoming “mayor” of that location. I have actually witnessed people fight over becoming mayor. If you offered special perks to the mayor of your location (ie: name on a board, gift certificate for the month, free beverage, or maybe a puppy!) it will encourage Foursquare users to visit your location more often.
Each business has the potential of creating a to do list for Foursquare users. If you visit a Foursquare page for a business (Click here for an example) you will find a button to create a to-do list. This could be utilized as a contest for people visiting the location. You could offer perks much like the user became a mayor of your location.
Example : Give a to-do list of what the location wants to improve upon in terms of service. Allow users to help improve those services by viewing the to-do list and adding tips for improvement.
5. Encourage Users to Become Superusers of Your Location
When a user becomes a SUPERUSER at your location they have the ability to edit venue information. Some of you may be skeptical and hesitant at giving users the ability to edit YOUR data… but let’s be honest… it isn’t really YOUR data anymore is it? It is easier to have users edit your location information because they are actually using the tool and experiencing your company in a completely different way. Also, this help for annoying bad data that could be spread through different users.
Foursquare is an infant compared to social media titans like Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter… the important thing to remember is that it is growing and people are using it.
Is your business getting reviewed on social applications? You would be surprised…
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Editor’s Note: A version of this article previously appeared at RickMulready.com.
I have to admit, I’m not a Foursquare app user. I never saw the need to let people know where I was at all times. Just because I was going to get a coffee didn’t mean I should be “checking-in” and letting the world know, “hey, Rick’s at Peet’s getting another Americano.”
And becoming the “mayor” of any one place didn’t really do it for me either.
At least, that’s what I thought until I started seeing how big brands are using it. Some savvy ones are using it as a location-based marketing tool, not only to offer deals to someone when they check-in to their business, but also to add value to people when they’re searching for different things in a city.
Let’s take a look at a few big brands that are doing some smart and cool things with Foursquare that you can model for your own business today:
1: Share insider tips.
Several weeks ago I was introduced to a company called the Corcoran Group. Turns out they’re New York City’s largest real estate company specializing in high-end property. They kept coming up with guests on my podcast as a brand that was doing really cool things in social media and content marketing.
So when I had their director of interactive and product marketing on the show, he took me behind-the-scenes of their marketing. Corcoran uses Foursquare to add value to people in New York — whether you live there or are just visiting — by creating thousands of inside tips for different locations around the city. When you use the search feature on Foursquare, special tips from Corcoran’s agents come up around wherever you’re searching.
For example, one of the most famous burger places in New York City is Shake Shack. They serve burgers and ice cream and are known for their uber long lines. A tip that Corcoran gives to people searching for Shake Shack is one that only locals would know: if you only want ice cream, you don’t have to stand in the crazy long line. There’s a separate line you can go to and bypass it all.
That’s a pretty sweet tip that would save you a ton of time, and a really smart use of Foursquare that adds value to people. Corcoran isn’t selling properties with this strategy, but it’s positioning itself as a go-to resource in the city.
How can you do the same? If you’re a personal trainer, for instance, you could give tips on local gyms or “must try” healthy dishes at local restaurants. If you own a restaurant that serves healthy food, you could highlight local farmer’s markets. Where they are, when they are open and maybe any “must visit” stands. You could offer special discounts to people who “check-in.”
2. Engage users with games and trivia.
“Like” ESPN on Foursquare and it’ll give you tips on the best arenas, stadiums, baseball parks, courses and soccer pitches around the world. It offer badges that signify you’ve made it to the “big leagues.”
On Foursquare, ESPN isn’t selling anything. Rather, it’s engaging and connecting with its target consumers by adding value through fun tips and trivia about sports.
I live in Los Angeles and everywhere I turn I see van tours shuttling people around the city, pointing out where Sylvester Stallone lives or where some other celebrity likes to eat lunch. One of these tour companies could create fun tips for people who are searching for sightseeing spots around the city. This would help position it as the expert tour guide company in the city.
For example, someone searching for Mann’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard might get this tip: “Star Wars fan? Consider taking in Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood around lunchtime every day. You’re likely to catch Darth Vader walking around.”
3. Share your ‘favorites.’
People love getting an inside look at the lives of their favorite celebrities. TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has built one of the larger followings on Foursquare and when you like her, you can see what her favorite places are around the world. If you go to these places and check-in you can earn badges and prizes, including the chance to go to her show.
Here’s an example of how she lists her “favorites”:
Say you own a local coffee shop. As you or your employees travel, you could create a list of all your favorite coffee shops from around the world. Offer check-in badges and prizes for people who check-in to those places. Give away free coffee or discounts to those people when they come to your shop.
These three strategies are all examples of location-based marketing. It’s a trend that’s just getting started and only going to get bigger. The opportunity can be huge for small businesses because it gives us the chance to serve relevant content to a relevant audience at the most relevant time.
And–get ready for it–whoever checks in the most is crowned “mayor” of your shop.
That’s the concept of white-hot location-based social networking app Foursquare , created by New York-based Foursquare Labs.
Though it sounds like a particularly bizarre detour on the high-tech highway, consider this: 140 million smartphones–each capable of generating remarkably accurate positions–will be roaming North America, and your business, as soon as 2014, according to international market research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Location-based services are expected to morph into a $1.4 billion market by the same year. And Foursquare, whose membership soared from 1 million at the end of March to 1.8 million as of mid-August, has grabbed the pole position in this brisk market.
What’s Foursquare’s secret? Good, old-fashioned discount coupons, delivered in a newfangled way.
Foursquare offers instant discounts–just like the ones many businesses place in the Penny Saver or in the Yellow Pages–to customers who are not only interested in your business, but who are physically near your business. And, at least to start, you can try the service at no charge.
“I’ve been dubious about Facebook and Twitter, but the ability to offer a legitimate discount for consumers who participate in this program offers value,” says James Brehm, senior consultant for Frost & Sullivan. “This is a real differentiator.”
Foursquare was one of several location-based bar games that sprang up as GPS chips crept into smartphones; Mountain View, Calif.-based Loopt and Austin, Texas-based Gowalla were other early leaders. Players would use their portable devices to tell friends their whereabouts by “checking in” from various locations throughout the night.
Beyond the meet-up opportunities location-based games afforded, those who checked in the most could win virtual prizes or badges. From those roots have grown applications that have as much game for businesses as for players: When users check in, they are encouraged to give an inside scoop about a business–not “good burgers,” but “it’s not on the menu, but if you ask, they’ll put grilled green onions and Gruyère cheese on your burger for no extra charge.”
Friends who are nearby at the time, and those in the area later, see those tips and are encouraged to give their own recommendations about that business along with nearby places to eat, shop and see. And Foursquare turned these game mechanics into a viable marketing platform that even tiny, technophobe enterprises can harness.
“ Foursquare’s biggest asset at the moment is simplicity,” says Bill Manos, co-founder of FavRav, a New York-based mobile application company. Foursquare is easy to use, and there’s basically no barrier to entry. And it all supports a platform that lets any business compete with Web 2.0 giants like Facebook and Twitter, Manos says.
July 6, 2015 • Paul Chaney
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.
Foursquare started the social “check-in” craze a few years ago. It has since changed its business model to become a recommendation engine based on user ratings and reviews, similar to Yelp.
The site did not completely abandon the check-in function, however. It shifted to a new mobile app, called Swarm, which it introduced last year. Swarm helps users find friends, activities, and places of interest — including businesses — in nearby locations.
Think of Foursquare as an app for discovery, and Swarm for socializing. Here’s how to use both to promote your business.
Foursquare is now a recommendation engine.
Consumers leave brief tips and photos of their favorite local businesses to let others know what they like about each place. As a business, you can listen to what your customers have to say and use Foursquare’s tools to join the conversation.
It’s likely that your company already has a listing on Foursquare. Find out by visiting the “Venue” page. If you find your listing, claim it by following these steps.
1. Enter your business name and location. If your business already exists in Foursquare’s database, it will appear in the search results. If not, you can add it by completing a form, found here.
Search for your listing on the “Venue” page.
2. Claim your listing by clicking “Select.”
Click “Select” to claim your listing.
3. Verify your listing. After clicking the “Select” button, you will verify that you are the owner or that you work on behalf of the business and are authorized to validate the listing. Click the checkbox and then click the “Get Started” button to initiate the verification process.
Click “Get Started” to begin the verification process.
Foursquare will call a phone number you designate, to verify your ownership claim. Foursquare will ask for your name, business name, and your relationship to it. After pressing “1” on your phone keypad, you then must enter a four-digit verification code that will be presented once the call is in place.
Foursquare will call a number you designate.
4. Enter your credit card or choose the postal verification option. Foursquare offers two ways to complete the verification process: expedited verification or postal mail verification.
Foursquare offers two ways to complete the verification process.
Choosing the expedited option requires that you enter your credit card information; Foursquare will then charge $20.00. The postal verification option is free but takes longer to complete because you have to wait up to four weeks to receive a postcard containing verification details.
Businesses can claim up to nine locations using this process. Those with between 10 and 100 locations, such as a retail chain, must use a separate claim form.
Foursquare offers several benefits to businesses that claim their listing. They can:
- Edit listing details, such as the business name, address, and hours of operation;
- Create special offers;
- Post tips for customers;
- Run ads to promote the business.
Another reason to use Foursquare is that other sites — such as Pinterest, Vine, Evernote, Path, Flickr, and Serious Eats — rely on Foursquare’s Venue API to integrate and populate location data.
Consumers can search for a business on a variety of criteria that includes top picks, places nearby, and business categories, such as food, nightlife, fun, and shopping. They can also rate a company based on their experience with it, leave tips, which others can view, and see which of their friends on Swarm have visited.
To promote the use of Foursquare, businesses can complete a form, found here, to request a window cling to hang at the entrance.
Swarm facilitates the use of check-ins. It also retains many of the gaming features popularized by Foursquare, such as mayorships and badges (now called “stickers”).
Swarm allows users to check-in to businesses.
Anyone using Swarm can see your company name and address. To view tips, photos, location information, and other details, a user can tap to see your full listing in Foursquare. Other nearby businesses will also appear.
Swarm integrates with Foursquare.
No additional steps are required to use Swarm due to its integration with Foursquare. Other benefits from the integration include:
- Check-ins from Swarm count towards the total visits shown on your Foursquare listing;
- Any time you update information on Foursquare, it auto-populates on Swarm as well;
- When users upload photos to Swarm, the photos appear on the Foursquare listing;
- If users check-in to your business through Swarm and you are running a special offer, they are given the option to view it in Foursquare;
- You can see who has checked-in to your place of business via your Foursquare profile.
If you already use services like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business, it makes sense to add Foursquare to the mix since it serves a similar function.
It costs $20.00 to use the expedited verification option. But that is a small investment and can be quickly recouped through the additional traffic that use of Foursquare — coupled with Swarm — could bring.
Also, while checking-in to a business is not as popular as it once was, there is no reason not to encourage the activity. It is a tacit form of endorsement and, due to the individual’s influence, could be the catalyst that brings in traffic from her friends. At the very least, it is a cost-free way to build brand awareness among local consumers.
Foursquare had 381,576,300 individual user check-ins, 6 million users and a 3400% growth in 2010 alone. So it’s safe to say that location-based services are no longer a fad. Just a few weeks ago, Foursquare announced their “Foursquare for Business” page, which existing businesses utilizing the service may not see as terribly different. But for companies yet to involve themselves with the service, this re-launch makes it much easier to become a part of the trendy crowd.
“We’re not changing what we do with this launch,” says Tristan Walker, Foursquare’s director of business development. “It was just a revamping of the site and helping to explain in a little better detail exactly what we offer to businesses.”
So how does the new offering change what Foursquare can do for small businesses? In this guide, we’ll explore specifically why retention is so important to business and what the new business page offers that makes it so unique for businesses.
How to Best Utilize the New Foursquare for Business: Small Business Potential
Among the new offerings included in the relaunch, though, in addition to local merchants and national retailers being able to “claim their venue” (which can be done quite simply), was the ability for brands and businesses to utilize the badges recognition system.
A pretty impressive group of companies have already signed on to the project, ranging from traditional retail locations to brands themselves. Included in that impressive list from a merchant perspective are Starbucks, Sports Authority, and the Museum of Modern Art; and for those not tied to a physical location there is Bravo TV, MTV (which was the top brand on Foursquare in 2010), Louis Vuitton, Red Bull and more.
But while all of that is great for large brands and national retail chains, the real potential for Foursquare remains with small businesses, and according to Walker, that remains the core of the businesses that are best utilizing the service.
“For merchants, there are two things that really matter: acquisition and retention,” he says. ” And really I think the goal for us, and we’ve said this from the beginning, is to bring back the nostalgic, remember-your-name kind of loyalty that consumers still want. We want to redefine what loyalty means at a retailer, merchant, or even to a brand, because that makes a difference.”
How to Best Utilize the New Foursquare for Business: New Customers Cost More Than Retaining Existing Ones
As long as businesses have been around, loyalty has been the key to keeping customers. If you’re a coffee shop or bar and you remember you’re a customer’s favorite drink and name, they’re much more likely to come back. And in the social space, many consumers view businesses in this regard: if you’re not on social networks and social media like I am, perhaps I’m not your target consumer. As a business, this is an old adage: be everywhere your consumers are.
The best thing about Foursquare for Business is that it is a completely free service (other than a minimal investment in time). So in the past, the only loyalty methods may have been the owner remembering a customer name. No more. Claiming a location/venue is made considerably easier with this relaunch.
To create a badge, there is a nominal fee that Foursquare determines varies based on your business. According to a statement from the company, “the amount that we charge for branded badges varies by partner. Sometimes there is a monetary value attached to badges, and sometimes we exchange badges for promotion through various channels. We evaluate partnerships on a case-by-case basis and try to form agreements that are mutually beneficial.”
But why does retaining a customer matter so much? Dependent upon which statistics you are viewing, it can cost anywhere between five and nine times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. And as the Harvard Business Review states, 91% of small businesses do absolutely nothing to retain their existing clients (meaning only 9% understand this reality). Consider the following numbers:
• According to John Coe, author of, The Fundamentals of Business To Business Sales and Marketing, “68% of long-term customers stop buying because they just don’t feel loved.”
• The average American business loses 50% of its customer base every 5 years. – HBR
• An existing customer spends an average of 67% more than new customers. – HBR
If you take it a step further and consider that customer retention is influenced just as much by brand, product and service proposition, then customer experience is the primary factor in brand loyalty, acquisition and customer retention. All that being said, the average organizational expenditure still breaks down as follows (according to James Digby, marketing manager at TeleFaction):
• 55% is on new customer acquisition
• 33% is on brand awareness
• Only 12% is on customer retention
How to Best Utilize the New Foursquare for Business: What Does the New Foursquare For Business Do?
But what does all of this mean for small businesses? The new page offers up very simple and very visual step-by-step instructions for how merchants, venues and brands can use the Foursquare service to promote themselves, as opposed to the less user-friendly data they provided before. As Foursquare stated when the re-released the product, “It addresses some of businesses’ biggest concerns like adding coupon codes for cashiers and shows what the unlock screen looks like so businesses can educate their employees.”
Other than the ability for brands without physical locations to garner a presence on the new Foursquare, it also offers businesses a chance to toy around with their existing gaming and badge functions, which all goes back to that point of loyalty.
Furthermore, and specifically in terms of analytics, Foursquare will continue to offer very robust analytics for a great price (free): male to female ratio, who your regular customers are, when you get the most check-ins, how your customers checking in compares to the customers who are signed up for your loyalty program and more.
“At the end of the day, our goal is very simple,” Walker says. “We want to redefine what loyalty means at a retailer or merchant. And we think that these changes make it considerably easier for businesses to do that.”
The big looming question through all of this is the data beyond the original checkin. There are some aggregation services like the recently launched MomentFeed (still in beta), where businesses will be able to tell not just when the customer checks in to their establishment but where they were before, after and what their regular habits are through a simple dashboard. Foursquare is experimenting more in this space as well with their badge system, as their new gym badge will reveal the time of day you are working out (as Walker says, “if you workout in the morning you might get orange juice and oatmeal, or in the afternoon a Gatorade”). It takes the idea of the supermarket loyalty card that tracks when you visit and how much you spend and really takes it to the next level, which is where Foursquare and other location-based services are headed.