If you are one of the special few who read my blog, you’ve probably already heard of FourSquare.
But if you are a small business owner, especially a small restaurant or entertainment spot owner – you need to be a part of what FourSquare has to offer you.
If you are familiar with FourSquare, skip a few lines, otherwise – read on.
FourSquare is a location based application that is available on the iPhone, Blackberry, Palm & Android operating systems – it’s also available to anyone with mobile web ability. (Which, in case you didn’t know – is likely a lot of your customers) Here’s how it works. A customer comes into your establishment, opens the app on their phone, and ‘checks in’. Every time they check in, they get points, enough points and they become mayor of your place. And while that doesn’t entitle them to the keys to the joint, you can use that power to lure in more business.
You see, like everything else in life, FourSquare is a competition. FourSquare won’t admit it, FourSquare users won’t admit it – but it is. FourSquare has even gone as far as to implement a ‘cheater code’ to catch a person from becoming a mayor from their couch. Customers earn badges for completing different tasks, such as checking into 3 karaoke bars in a month (Don’t Stop Believin’), a gym 10 times in a month (Gym Rat Badge), the Warhol badge for checking into 10 different art galleries or checking into a place after 3:00am on a school night. More badges = more better – and your customers want to earn their badges at your store. Here is a list of some of the other badges and how you can earn them.
So how can you cash in by being a part of this free game? Offer specials to whoever is the standing ‘Mayor’. FourSquare even allows you to sign into their service to manage your business and offer specials to your customers. They offer real-time venue stats and the ability to promote your business on their mobile applications.
The catch, of course there is a catch!
It’s free. All you have to do is offer your newfound FourSquare friends a special deal. Give your mayor a free beer, a free appetizer to someone who checks in for the first time, or a free dinner if you ‘un-seat’ the mayor. It’s easy to keep track of, all of these messages show up on the customer’s device, they would just have to show it to the cashier or waiter/waitress to redeem the coupon. Will you get some cheaters? Sure – but the good will far outweigh the bad.
Although not everyone is using FourSquare, the customer has the ability to post their check-ins on their Facebook & Twitter accounts. And as we already know, everyone IS using those. So get on board – and start treating your FourSquare Mayor like a king. If you need some ideas – be sure to ask me.
How is your business using FourSquare to lure in new business and keep them coming back? Let me know some of your great ideas out there – I know you have them!