Mobile Marketing: Using Foursquare & Location Data


Image by Foursquare

The results of a good social media marketing campaign can result in reaching millions of people online, resulting in increased referrals and brand recognition.

One of the most frequently overlooked portions of a social media marketing campaign is mobile marketing and local search engine marketing. Potential customers are using their smart phones instead of their laptops to search for local businesses. Using sites like Foursquare or certain location data sites can greatly improve the reach of an Internet marketing campaign.

Almost everyone has a smart phone. These popular devices are rapidly becoming the go to electronic when a user is looking for a business. A business can take steps to make their page mobile marketing friendly by using a local data service. That means that when a user is searching for a business on their cell phone, the site that has a mobile marketing campaign comes out on top. Most mobile devices will even default to a certain area using the persons GPS system. That is why any business with a physical location needs to get listed among these search results.

So how can it be done? It’s not just as simple as adding regional SEO to a website. Instead, it is important to get a business listed among various social media sites that will index these businesses for searchers. Most of the time, a business will already have a profile ready to be claimed on one of these sites.

Foursquare Mobile Marketing


Screenshots of Foursquare

Social media sites like Foursquare can help expand a business’s digital presence. Foursquare is a newer site with more than 400,000 businesses already listed. This is a heavily trafficked and rapidly expanding site. In 2011, the site had 1 million active users. Since then, Foursquare has increased its user base to more than 10 million! Foursquare is already a giant in the mobile marketing area, and it is poised to get even bigger.

The users of Foursquare use their smart phones to ‘check in’ to certain places. These users can then rate the local businesses and share them with their friends. The more check-ins a page has, the more users there are who are viewing it and becoming familiar with the brand. A user with a lot of friends can expose a business to thousands of potential customers simply by rating it and checking in.

The business starts out by claiming their page, setting up their profile, and connecting with users. Foursquare gives businesses the opportunity to connect by allowing them certain tools to interact on their pages. Many companies have had major success with some of these tools.

One of the best tools is the ability to create “deals” and “specials” on the site. A business can offer coupons or deals to users simply for checking in and connecting. In many cases, these campaigns have been hugely successful.

Using Foursquare For Your Business

A small New York steakhouse called ‘Angelo & Maxie’s’ is a great example of a successful Foursquare marketing campaign.  They used Foursquare to set up their online promotion. It was simple; buy an entrée, receive a free dessert. The campaign was really nothing that hadn’t been done before. However, with the use of Foursquare, they got 400 users who checked out the deal, with the majority of them being first time visitors to Angelo & Maxie’s. Thanks to the campaign, the steakhouse’s revenues went up 18%.

In addition to the deals themselves, the way Foursquare is set up allows businesses to monitor the effectiveness of any given marketing campaign. By seeing the amount of check-ins they receive based on a certain deal, a business can tell early on which campaigns are working and which need to be adjusted. The business can also measure the effectiveness of their product, or their customer service, thanks to feedback from users of the site.

With so many potential customers using mobile devices to locate new businesses, it is incredibly important that business owners claims their profile and create a following. Foursquare is one of the largest mobile marketing sites by far. A business has the potential of being seen by thousands or even millions of possible customers. By using local data and mobile marketing, a business can get involved with a huge untapped local market.

Do you use Foursquare? Do you use Foursquare for your business?  If so, how have you found using it?  Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

About Joshua John

Joshua is the digital strategist for MBA@UNC and MPA at UNC, the University of North Carolina’s online mba and online mba degree. He is an avid health enthusiast, who enjoys spinning, hiking, and yoga. He also loves gadgets, movies, and all things Batman. You can learn more by following him on Twitter or Google+.

  • I see you havn’t mentioned about Mayorships and how businesses can leverage from it.

    • You’re right, Joshua must have forgotten to add that. Still, gives me an excuse to write a follow up post in the near future

    • Joshua John

      I did forget about Mayorships – there are so many uses for Foursquare, it will require more than one article.

      • Hi Joshua. Don’t worry about it. As you say, there is SO much to talk about Foursquare, it could take a number of posts to cover everything.

  • Andi Leeman

    Hi Joshua, a very interesting post, I have never thought about using Foursquare before, I have heard of it but never really took any notice of it. Sounds ideal for places like restaurants that can give away starters or desserts. Success stories like the Stake House that increased its profits by 18% using it should be listened to and taken on board. 18% increase is nothing to be sniffed at.

    Not sure if it will work for us online bloggers but for the traditional bricks and mortar businesses it sounds foolish to not use it. We know word of mouth can grow a business and this is just a digital version.

    • Hi Andi,

      Yes, I suppose Foursquare benefits local businesses much more than it would with sites like ours.

      Cafes, restaurants, hair salons, pubs, etc. would all find it a useful way of marketing themselves online. The fact that they can broadcast their special offers is such a great feature, that would help draw in lots of new business.

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    zeltimhaus Innovationen entdecken Produkte Konzepte Mit dem Blog stellen wir neue Konzepte in den Bereichen Automobile, Mobile Devices, New Work,