Checking in: Foursquare is The Real Deal

If you’re a local business owner and you haven’t heard about Foursquare, you must be living under a rock.

If you have heard about it but aren’t using it to promote your business, you should hit yourself with a rock.

With its recent changes allowing businesses to talk directly to users, Foursquare is a force to be reckoned with. There are, according to the folks at Foursquare, more than 20,000,000 people using the app to check in at nearly 1,000,000 businesses. If those numbers don’t make you sit up and take notice, you may have hit yourself too hard with the rock.

What is Foursquare?

Let’s backtrack for the rock dwellers. What is Foursquare? It’s a location-based social networking service, if you want to get all fancy about it. Or, in human speak, it’s a smartphone app that rewards users for checking in at locations and allows them to share with their friends where they are and what they’re doing. When checking in at an establishment, the user earns points. Because users can also earn badges and even become “mayor” of a location, the app creates a bit of competition between users.

In the mix of that competition are local business owners, who stand to win the most. With the new feature discussed earlier, you can create unique messages about specials or new items, or whatever awesomeness you can cook up. And because of the perimeters put in place about who sees your direct message, it’ll be seen people who actually care about your business.

If you’re still reading this blog, it means you’re not off signing up for Foursquare. Well, here are a few more reasons. Hopefully by the end, you’re not still here.

Top 7 reasons to join Foursquare:

• You can tell people from your neighborhood why they should stop in at your business.

• When users check in, others can see their activity.

• Smartphones will only gain in popularity, so this is not be a passing fad.

• Whether you’ve claimed your venue or not, users have likely already set one up and are talking about it. That’s not a conversation you want to miss.

• You can customize your profile by adding photos, your menu, your hours, etc.

• Foursquare gives you all sorts of data about the people checking in at your business.

It’s free. (If that doesn’t do it, I’ll hit you with a rock myself.)

Thanks for reading,

-Drew Larison