Web 2.0

Foursquare for Customers

Foursquare (http://foursquare.com) is a fun mobile app that allows you to check into a business using your mobile phone – if you have a mobile phone that can handle apps. I joined a while back – but the beauty eluded me until I got a better phone. Now when I’m going places I can “check in”. Then everyone knows I’m there – which I’m sure is a treat for them. But I can see who else has checked in, which is sometimes a treat (or warning) for me.

Some businesses will reward you once you check in with a coupon or tip. If you have checked into a given place more than anyone else you are the Mayor! Some businesses offer special rewards to the Mayor. It’s kind of fun. I could definitely see it be more fun back when I had a crowd I might meet up with on a regular basis – maybe that feature will come into its own for me during the State Fair.

Foursquare for Businesses

Not all businesses participate – but they may have a presence regardless. If you have a business that caters to end customers you might want to look into it. It’s a fun way to reward frequent visitors and it’s a new way to promote your business for free. Claiming your business is free and easy.

To claim your business, you find it on Foursquare. If you’re not there, you can add yourself. Once you see your listing you’ll see the big “claim your business” link. You can confirm your connection by having them call you (if your number is in a business directory) or via mail. Then they will walk you through creating your first specials.

If I were downtown selecting a bar in a new town, I might try Foursquare to see what was near me. And all things being equal I would be tempted to check out a place with a Foursquare special. Or in my own town I might strive to become a Mayor if I was rewarded. It’s kind of silly – but it just might work with the right sort of customer.

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