If you’ve been following the news in Internet marketing circles lately, you’ve probably heard some buzz about a new service called FourSquare. This is actually a mobile phone app and website which allows you to check in at various locations around your city or a city that you happen to be visiting and let your friends know you’re there or were there.
What Makes FourSquare Valuable for Marketing
FourSquare also has a secondary feature, one that makes it potentially a goldmine for bricks and mortars businesses that also happen to run websites. It creates a kind of a competition where you compete against your friends to get points for visiting the most sites in and around your local city.
While this may not see like a big deal, remember that social networking is all the rage today and it’s something that will make working with FourSquare very attractive. The idea is that by getting people to mark off that they’ve been to a certain place, they can then get some kind of discounts for having come back regularly.
The concept is devilishly simple – you get to encourage new people to come in by offering them points and then you get to reward loyal customers for dropping by. It’s basically like those loyalty cards where you get ten stamps and you get a free cup of coffee, except with an Internet and social networking aspect factored in as well.
How Your Web Site Could Benefit
Okay, enough about FourSquare and what it does. How can your website benefit from FourSquare? The answer is, it can’t. Unless it is a particular type of website. If you run a travel website for example, FourSquare can be used to track the hottest locations in town by telling your visitors which places were most frequented.
You might also be able to use FourSquare for a website which offers special deals, something like a localized version of Groupon. However, if your business is entirely virtual and has no relation to the physical world (a blog about SEO techniques for example), FourSquare is not likely to be particularly valuable for you.
What Else Can You Do with FourSquare
The system as it stands offers a few other interesting features. Frequent visitors to a location can for example declare themselves “mayor” of a particular location and you can also become a super user for a place and start to change the information about the location.
This means that effectively, you could see reviews and tips on what’s best to eat a particular restaurant for example popping up on FourSquare.
Bottom line – if your website has a function that could benefit from FourSquare, especially if it’s a website for a bricks and mortar store or location, you’ve got a gold mine on your hands. If you sell a service which could potentially be useful to people at that location, it’s also a great program to be a part of.
If on the other hand, your business is purely virtual, it’s mostly going to be a curiosity for you. At least for now.