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Claiming Your Foursquare Venue

Foursquare now has over 2 million users and growing by the day. Chances are you are just learning about it, but your customers have been using it for months. It is among the new platforms of social media networks or ‘geosocial’ that combine location apps, gaming and social media on a smart phone app. The best way to imagine it is a mix of Facebook, Google Place Maps, Twitter and Yelp all blended together.

Foursquare users use their phone to ‘check in’ to a business when they arrive. They can leave tips other users see when they check in and are shown offers available at the location and nearby businesses. Users also receive rewards for checking-in and let’s their friends see where they are. While the primary use was for the restaurant and nightclub/bar industry, it has grown to include other markets like retail, salons, museums, oil changes and pretty much everything in between. This is something <!–more–>traditional marketing can’t match.

The best part about Foursquare is it’s FREE. You as a business owner don’t need an iPhone or other smart phone to take advantage of it. It attracts a younger, tech savvy demographic that is active on social networks. There is a good chance your competition hasn’t taken advantage of this site yet, and this gives you a solid leg up if you take action for 5 minutes and set up your business.

To claim your Foursquare venue you need to sign up on their website as a user and create an individual profile. A photo must be uploaded to your profile page and business logos aren’t allowed just yet. Perform a search for your business. Chances are Foursquare already pulled your data and added your business. If not, select “add things” up top of the navigation menu.

1 – Select “add a venue”, and type your business name.

2 – Add your address. Use common abbreviations like St, Ave, and Rd.  Add your state in CAPS- NY

Example:
155 Main St
Ithaca, NY 14850

3 – Add the phone and business Twitter extension. Twitter is required but it will increase your exposure and potential on the site.

4 – Like Google Places, add related keywords or tags to the listing. HOT TIP: Add your City/State as a tag. It helps when people are searching using their phones and nearby deals.

5 – The listing is now complete. You should download the app to your phone (Palm Pre, iPhone, Blackberry or Android). If you don’t have a smart phone, an employee is sure to have one.  Check in on the app and you will be the ‘Mayor’ of your business.

Foursquare also has analytics that tell you who your visitors are. This is very useful and allows you to engage your visitors. You can also order free window clings and signage to help promote your offers. <a href=”http://foursquare.com/businesses/” target=”_blank”>CLICK HERE</a> to visit the small business resource area of Foursquare and take advantage of this site before your competitors does.

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