Rumor has it that social media will overtake conventional marketing within the decade. Think about it. When deciding where to take a date for a nice dinner or using a new accountant, are you more likely to take the word of a paid advertisement or the word of your unbiased friend? If you say paid advertisement, you’re just plain lying. Utilizing websites like Foursquare will help build your social presence and allow those unbiased clients and customers to share the exceptional qualities of your business; plus, it’s free advertising!
1. Check out Examples in the Page Gallery
Once a page has been created, it is added to the Page Gallery. The first step is to see what types of profiles are attractive to you and may work the best for your business. This way you’ll have a clear idea of what you want ahead of time rather than fumbling through the process and having to go back for an overhaul.
2. Read the Guides
Foursquare has provided a step-by-step guide to help businesses set up pages within their system. Be sure to check these over beforehand; they are really helpful. You can find it here.
3. Complete your Profile
This concept seems obvious, but fully completing your profile will help your page stand out and be more easily searchable within Foursquare as well as throughout the web. Think of Foursquare as one of the many necessary arms of your web-presence, and each piece is just as important as the other.
4. Authorize Twitter Account
Foursquare is entirely dependent upon a Twitter account, and therefore you’ll need to link a pre-established Twitter page to complete your Foursquare account. It is important to understand that the Twitter account you use will correlate directly to your Foursquare account, meaning the information for both should match. Be sure to link the correct Twitter account if you have say, a personal account and a business account. This could be dangerous! Also be aware that the account name used on your Twitter account will be reflected on your Foursquare account as, www.foursquare.com/thetwittername.
5. Use Images
This is a long-standing marketing fact: people like pictures, not words. Using images on your page as well as your tags to draw attention is an excellent way to stand out above the rest. Images also allow you to really engage and even entertain followers, which will of course draw them to follow you even more! One of the best ways to use the power of an image is to tag the mouthwatering slice of pizza you just enjoyed at a certain establishment or a particularly delicious martini. The more information you provide, the more involved and relevant your company will become and the more people will look for your opinion!
6. Share the Responsibility
Having a presence on any social media can seriously be a full-time job. Unless you have the ability to pay a social marketer, you’ll likely want to look into sharing the workload to stay relevant on all of your company’s sites. Foursquare will allow you to add additional people to contribute, monitor, and manage your page on your behalf. You may want to designate a couple of trusted employees around the office to add a couple of posts a week. You can simply add other users by connecting via Twitter, name, email, phone number or even their Foursquare user ID.
7. Connect with Facebook
This is a great time saver! You can do double the social media work in half the time. By linking these two accounts, you are able to post your Foursquare tips simultaneously to your Facebook wall as check-ins or status updates. Success!
8. Get It Out There
Simply setting up your profile, linking all your accounts and downloading seven different apps to your phone won’t do much if you don’t do the actual social media work! It sounds like a lot, but I say “simply” because keeping up with posts is the most important aspect of your social marketing. Getting your pages kickstarted will likely mean you’ll need to do quite a few posts, tips, and constant friend nagging to follow your page in order to get a following. Be sure to add links to your various pages on your main website, your blog and maybe even your signature line on your emails.
Foursquare pages really have a lot to offer businesses. Friends are excited to share the establishments they like to visit and offer tips to their friends about great spots, dishes or small businesses with great service. This works to the advantage of the business owner as free marketing to an endless market!
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.