Over the past few years, social media has erupted as the most popular way for friends and family to keep abreast of what everyone in their lives is doing. No matter how far away they may live, anyone can stay connected with the people in their lives as long as they have an internet connection. Platforms such a Facebook and Twitter allow for conversation, photo sharing, games and other social interactions, but a new social media tool has emerged and is becoming increasingly popular: Foursquare.
Foursquare allows smartphone users to "check-in" at various businesses and other locations to show what they are up to. As a result of this, a Foursquare user gives wider exposure to whatever place they happen to be frequenting. This word of mouth service can become a positive boon to local and small businesses that may not have a large amount of funds to spend on traditional advertising.
Foursquare's services allow even more interactivity than simply checking in at different locations. Users can set up an online profile and earn various "badges" at the places they frequent. A newcomer badge shows a first check-in and frequent customers can end up becoming the virtual mayor of a location by virtue of having the most check-ins at that location. Because of these and other badges, users can fill up their profile with various colorful ornaments.
Businesses can get in on the fun by creating a page for their location and create badges of their own. Visitors to the business can then earn even more badges during special events or by completing certain activities. The business's page can also serve as a way to display services available and give a heads-up on special events. Some businesses have jumped on the Foursquare banner and have begin offering special services or deals to Foursquare customers as a way of thanking customer loyalty. A Foursquare page also offers a great way for customers to give feedback on any goods or services provided by a particular location.
This level of social interaction between businesses and customers creates a fun and friendly environment that can serve to increase customer satisfaction and provide an oft needed boost to local businesses. Businesses who already make use of Facebook and Twitter should look at the additional advantages a Foursquare account would bring.