If that name is a mystery to you, that's okay. It's not that well-known but hang on and don't let go now that you know it. Foursquare is carving out its own unique and lucrative market segment which is grabbing everyone's attention.
Created only five years ago by New York University IT students, Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadrai, Foursquare for Business is a website and mobile (cell phone) application that allows registered users to post their location at a venue ("check-in") and then connect with friends. Your check-in requires active selection. Points are awarded at check-in.
The advantages for local businesses is that Foursquare members receive "badges" for visiting those businesses even by checking into a certain area of a building or conducting a certain buying activity while at the venue. Users also earn badges by checking in at businesses with certain tags. These tags measure check-in frequency and times. The company has stated that users will be able to add their own custom badges to the site in the future.
Once the user has visited the business, they can create a private "To-do List" and add "Tips" for other users. Those tips can recommend or not recommend the business for other customers. Users become "Mayor" when they get a certain number of check-ins. Most "check-ins" to local venues are made by using a mobile app.
Confused? It is different and Foursquare explains it this way:
Consumers check in at local businesses to tell their friends where they like to go.They leave brief tips...you can listen to what your customers are saying and use our tools to join the conversation.
And have the customers responded! Since April 2012, more than 2 billion check-ins have been made with Foursquare from over 20 million registered users. It recently partnered with the 21012 London Olympics as users could check-in at the event vendors tables. It was a hit and a launching point that put the company on the social media map.
No doubt that Foursquare for Business, boasting a massive list of subscribers and millions in the bank, is positioning itself for even more growth as an interactive, B2B/B2C, social networking website and app. So if you're looking to expand your social media reach and increase your customer base, Foursquare is the place. You may even be on there now. It's easy to join: Create a listing and begin awarding badges.
You may not have heard of it before, but you have now. Make Foursquare a part of your social media marketing strategy.