When many business owners think of social media, they think about sharing statuses, photos and videos with customers and “fans.” However, there are other ways that a business owner can harness these sites to connect with customers and build a following. Foursquare is a location-based social network that allows users to take and share photos of a location, “check-in” and otherwise connect with a place or business. Facebook also has a check-in feature that essentially accomplishes the same thing, with fewer bells and whistles. If you are a small business who wants to harness social networking tools to build a local following, consider these tips for using one of these check-in services as part of your marketing plan.
- Claim Your Spot – People are more likely to check-in and interact with your business if you add it to the list of local spots. While your customers may have added the place already, you can make corrections to the spelling and capitalization to make your check-ins more official.
- Make an Official Page – If you are going to take Foursquare (and Facebook) seriously, you may want to log in from a desktop machine and make your page official. At this point, you can add images, locations, store hours and other information that gives your business an official edge.
- Send Notifications – There is now a function on Foursquare where you can send a communication to those who have previously checked in to your location and are now nearby. This is a great way to send specials and sales to those who will be most likely to use them.
- Offer Foursquare or Facebook Specials – This is a great way to encourage interaction. They can be simple or complex. Maybe you want to offer 10% off if a customer checks in or buy one get one free if he shares your latest status. These are all great ways to network.
- Add Foursquare (and Facebook) Buttons to Your Page – If you have an official webpage, add buttons that encourage your visitors to like you on Facebook or connect on Foursquare. This makes it easier to interact with them in the future.
Social media in all forms is very important in today’s business world. If you are not comfortable building profiles and figuring out how things work, find a copywriter for hire or a social media marketing consultant and let him or her help you get started. Soon you could reap the benefits of improved traffic and customer experience by using services such as Foursquare to allow customers to interact with you more.
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.