I’ve been playing with location based Social Networking site Foursquare for a few months now and trying to figure out what use it might be for me from a business point of view other than simply another site my business details are listed on. I havn’t managed to come to a conclusion on that yet but I reckon businesses with an actual shop front or public location (unlike my private home office) should sit up NOW and take notice.
I’m personally noticing a big increase in Foursquare usage among my friends and online contacts and the whole Location Based/Geo Tagging networking area is big news at the min. Here’s how it works in simple language:
Sign up at Foursquare.com and search for venues or add your own. These venues can then be found by others searching Foursquare from either the website or on their mobile phone and they can “Check In” and/or leave reviews and tips. Actions such as checking in or leaving tips can then be shared among the users friends both on Foursquare itself and on other networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
The benefit of this is pretty obvious if you are say a coffee shop or restaurant. A Foursquare user checks in, leaves a positive review and potentially hundreds of his friends see this review. There’s a good chance at least a few of them will drop by to check out the establishment for themselves.
Also, by claiming ownership of a business listed on Foursquare, you can access additional features such as offering specials for frequest visitors and visitor stats, further promoting your venue. You can also of course link to your venue on your website or Facebook page, etc..
As for all the scaremongering about people checking in on Foursquare and thus alerting cyber criminals that they’ve left an empty house behind, ready to rob – Bull. It’s a bit of a leap to think that A: Criminals will bother to find the exact property and travel to it and B: Presume that there’s no one else apart from the Foursqare user (or his rabid dogs!?) living there too.
Here’s my business on Foursquare! http://foursquare.com/venue/2509033
Here’s another interesting post re Foursquare – http://conoroneill.net/location-based-marketing-ireland-and-foursqua