Foursquare: Free Ads to Millions of Local Users

Posted on Jul 10, 2010 in Advertising
Let’s face it, in today’s highly competitive world, putting up a few hoardings to advertise your business is no longer enough. That’s old school advertising. People today rarely look away from their mobile phone screens. So what better place to advertise yourself than on their mobile screen? You think it will annoy them? Think again. More than a million users today have voluntarily downloaded an app that does nothing but show them advertisements. And this number is growing exponentially.

No, we are not lying

Honestly, we haven’t lost our marbles. Allow us to direct your attention to Foursquare, a location based social networking site. If you haven’t heard of it before, you have been missing out on a chance to capitalize on its growing popularity. Businesses everywhere are using it to freely advertise themselves and win repeat customers. Maybe that is why the club next door is getting more clients than you these days?At its heart, Foursquare is a service that allows users to make new friends and find new places. They can then review places they visit for the benefit of their friends, and earn points through Foursquare’s reward systems. The businesses that these users frequent can then choose to reward these loyal customers with special offers and discounts. HERE is an interview with Foursquare’s co-founder Dennis Crowley to help you understand the service better.

Discounts for users of a service I don’t even profit from? Really?

That you can’t profit from Foursquare is a myth. It is a service that can make or break your business. Think about it, it’s not just one user that will be dissatisfied with a bad steak anymore. With Foursquare’s networking system, dozens of friends in the vicinity of the displeased customer will choose to avoid your venue. The number increases further if the user has tied his account to Twitter and Facebook. It’s pretty easy to do so with Foursquare. Now, that’s a lot of customers to lose with one bad steak!On the flip side, you have just as much to gain. You please one visitor and chances are he will spread your word. What better way to please a visitor than with a discount specifically for him/her? It’s also a sure shot way to win repeat customers.

Your competitors have blasted it? That’s even better!

“this sounds utterly boring and devoid of fun.”
-comment on TechcrunchJust because all your competitors have dismissed the service as a fad doesn’t make it reason enough for you to do the same. If anything, that’s just further incentive for you to use the service. The service has been criticized ever since it was started in March 2009. Yet it has won more than a million users in the span of a year. What does that tell you?

Here’s what you do

Using the service is pretty simple. The detailed description given on foursquare’s site should be more than enough to get you off the ground. All you do is sign up, claim your business and offer special discounts to users if you wish. You can also build your own app using Foursquare’s API to promote your business further.Foursquare will also provide you a control panel where you can track the number of Foursquare users who are using your services and work out better marketing strategies.

Alternatives?

“I’ve found a cool alternative to Foursquare. I personally call my friends and tell them where I am… with my voice! Amazing!”
Brian ClarkThere are other similar services if you don’t think much of Foursquare. The best alternative is currently said to be Gowalla. Then there’s Brightkite, which is also loved by users, and other smaller services.We’d suggest you hop over to Foursquare’s site immediately and claim your business before your competitor across the street reads this post.