July 11, 2011

By: 
Rachel Strella

Why You Should Check-out the FourSquare “Check-Ins”

As a small business owner, you might wonder about the hype with FourSquare and whether you should be taking advantage of yet another social networking opportunity. With 750 million Facebook users and only 10 million FourSquare users, some may immediately disqualify FourSquare as a medium for reaching the masses. However, FourSquare is a combination-type social media platform. Not only do people typically sign up for FourSquare, they often link their account to Facebook and Twitter.

What does that link mean for you? That means exponential expansion of your company’s brand. Not only is the person that checks-in at your business going to see that they were there.  They are announcing it to their friends and followers. Maybe that causes one or two more people to stop in since they are close and want to say hi. Maybe it causes a friend to inquire about the business and you get a word-of-mouth referral. The possibilities are endless.

Matt Hannaford, a self-proclaimed social media junkie and FourSquare user from Harrisburg said of the platform, “I love the perks of using Foursquare,”  he said, “although my wife and I have a constant battle for the mayorship of our house.”

Hannaford said if confronted with a choice between two similar restaurants, he typically picks the one with the FourSquare special. He also added, “Another reason to continue to use it is simply to find places to go when I'm out of town.  Recently, I was in Concord, N.C. for a wedding. I didn't know the area at all, but using FourSquare I found not only places to eat but also chose where to eat based on comments left by others and specials.”

“I started using FourSquare early on when I was visiting New York City," said John Webster. "We wanted to find a pizza shop near the theater we were going to and I remembered hearing about this start up in New York City called FourSquare that would use your phone GPS to tell you what is around you.”  Webster added,“I use it just to better advise my clients.”

FourSquare set-up is quick and easy and there is less maintenance than other social media accounts because the system is automated to notify friends when someone checks in somewhere. For step-by-step instructions, click here.

While it may take some time for the FourSquare market to really take off - with the talk of additions of daily deals using Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, and others - the market is poised to explode on this medium. Currently, 500,000 merchants have partnered with FourSquare. Will you be next?

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