Foursquare, a location based app, gives smartphone users the ability to “check in” at their favorite stores, locations, and restaurants. This “check in” is connected to the users’ Facebook and twitter accounts, which alert friends and followers as to their whereabouts. Foursquare is also a game based on a point rewarding system where players can earn special badges or mayorship for checking in at particular places a certain amount of times. However, what seems to be a fun social app can also be used as a powerful business tool.
Businesses are quickly realizing that the 15 million Foursquare users are a great market for pushing customer loyalty programs. Foursquare has the ability to enhance customer loyalty online, in-store, and within social media. Companies can promote customer loyalty through Foursquare in five distinct ways.
1. Creating deals to drive traffic
The beauty of connecting with Foursquare is that it allows you to offer deals when a customer checks in to your location. By associating a deal with your location check-in you will surely increase foot traffic, as well as check-ins which are linking your company to the rest of the social media world. If you want more in-store customers, consider providing a discount or buy-one-get-one deal for customers checking in. If you want more website traffic, have the check-in prompt online promotions from on your website.
2. Loyalty programs
Create check-in goals and reward current customers (your most valuable resource) with a special deal for reaching them. This makes the customer feel appreciated for the repeat business, and compels them to come back in the future. An example of this would be $5 off every fifth purchase.
3. Demographic information
Foursquare gives crucial demographic information about customers such as their number of check ins, where those check ins are published, the gender of the customers, the ages of customers, and the time of day they visit. This information can be used to create deals and offers that target demographics more directly.
4. Forum for comments and tips from customers
Companies have their own profiles on Foursquare where users are allowed to leave comments. These comments give customers a sense of communication and connectedness with the company, it gives the company an opportunity to use feedback constructively, and oftentimes the comments attract new customers.
5. Free advertising to hundreds or thousands
Given that Foursquare is connected to Facebook and Twitter, one check-in can be sent around the web and viewed by thousands of friends or followers who see the new update.
Why is this newsworthy?
Foursquare may not be the newest tool in the social media box, but companies are using it in new and innovative ways to attract and maintain customers. They are now realizing the impact that Foursquare can have on customer loyalty. Furthermore, other social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp are developing similar functions. Lastly, this is newsworthy because if companies don’t act now and use their Foursquare account to start driving customer loyalty, other companies are going to beat them to the punch.