Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Foursquare – location based social networking

By Mhairi Petrovic on Mar 22 2010 • Filed under Outsmarting Social Media

Foursquare is a location-based social network and is purported to be the next big social media phenomenon despite ongoing privacy concerns. It is a game-based application that lets you explore the city and earn points, badges, and in some cases, free drinks by “checking-in” at different establishments.  

Launched just last year in only a few cities around the world, Foursquare now has over 400,000 unique visitors (in January). Since September there has been a steep increase in activity as users catch on to this popular social networking game and this is only expected to grow since Foursquare went global in January.

Playing Foursquare

Foursquare allows users to check in from their mobile phones when they are out and about at dinner, sports venues, tourist venues and even at the hairdresser. As a user, each time you check in to a location you are awarded points.

Once you start accumulating points or visiting locations frequently you are awarded badges and titles like Mayor. Foursquare apps are available for download to most major smart phones including iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm Pre allowing you to check in easily using your mobile phone. 

If you think it sounds like more of a game than a serious business network, you are right. But if your business is location based, it is a game you really should be taking seriously. A little friendly competition can do wonders to bring people back to your location again and again, so businesses are beginning to clue in to the loyalty potential – and Foursquare – as a tool to spread awareness. Many businesses are offering incentives to those who become mayor and to visitors who offer tips about the location. 

Foursquare Tips for Business 

1. Make sure you are listed on Foursquare. The best way to do this is by joining the community, downloading the phone app and adding a venue from there (read this post from Dave Tailor for more detail on how to do so). 

2. Consider offering incentives for those who visit frequently and sign up with Foursquare to promote these. Every time someone signs in to your location, their followers see this, so the more Foursquare visitors you have the better – it’s like free advertising! 

3. Monitor Foursquare to see who is visiting and especially to track tips. Foursquare users can provide tips about your location and since this is user driven you may want to reward positive tips and be prepared to go to bat if someone posts something negative. Most of the tips I have seen to date are positive. 


All businesses should be aware of what Foursquare is, make sure they are listed and to keep an eye on what is being said about their business. If Foursquare does take off, as is predicted, then more and more of your clients will be using this tool to share their nights out, business meetings and fun.

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