5 Tips: How Brands Can Use Foursquare to Grow

More and more people are using Foursquare to check in and share their location. Whether checking out a new restaurant, meeting up with friends, or visiting a favourite boutique, they love to share their adventures. This of course also means that the potential for brands are growing. If you wish to use foursquare as a marketing channel for your brand, here is a list of things you can do when starting on Foursquare:

1. Claim you place on foursquare. If you are a business, you should claim your places, which means that you are now a manager of your places on foursquare. You log on to foursquare.com and go the page of your listed venue. You then push the ‘claim venue’ link and you are provided with different options of how to verify your ownership.

2. Personalize your foursquare page: Once, you have claimed your place, brands can customize the way their information appears on foursquare. It is possible to edit the phone number, address, twitter name and website, or even add a description that includes details of your offerings or anything you might want to highlight. Just head over to your business’ listings on foursquare.com, and click the ‘edit’ button.

3. Grow your business with foursquare “Specials!” There is one feature that contributes to the success of every foursquare business success story: foursquare Specials. A Special is a kind of foursquare offer, which could be a discount or a give ways to encourage customers to engage with the brand through foursquare. Here are a few of the most successful types of offers:

  • A discount with purchase (something like, ‘get 20% any orders over $10’). It’s a great way to increase sales.
  • Something for free (for example, ‘enjoy a free dessert if you buy an appetizer and main course’). These are often low cost and high impact.
  • Special treatment: (one of our favorites is at a zoo: ‘check in on foursquare for private access to the penguin feeding’). These have no cost and create a great connection.
  • Reward your best customers (the classic Special is, ‘free coffee on your fifth visit’). It’s like a digital punchcard.

4. Identify your best customers by diving into your data: Brands also get full access to Merchant Dashboard, which tells you interesting information about your customers, like the time they check in, their demographic information (like age and gender), what are your most popular hours, and who are the customers that visit most often.

5. Educate your staff : If you are a retail chain running a foursquare special, it is best to let your staff know about it, because all the hard work goes in vain if your staff turns away a special winner!

Read more about Foursquare for business

Snapchat – Proof That Simplicity & Authenticity Wins

blogSnapchat has 100 million daily users, 9,000 snaps are shared per second, 10 billion videos are viewed per day and at 500 million Snapchat stories per day, it would take more than 158 years to watch an entire day of Snapchat stories. It’s no wonder that advertisers want a bite of it.

CEO Evan Spiegel describes Snapchat’s messaging as “conversational”, rather than “transactional”, which gives the impression you’re just talking to a friend. This whole implication has mass potential to change the way we see messaging and could ultimately become a revolution in chat. Since the mid-90s, SMS has been seen the same way, with mostly the UI advancing. Maybe it’s time for an overhaul.

 

Here & Now

Because of its “in the moment” nature, Snapchat began as a more personal and authentic alternative to Instagram and all its filters. And somehow, the further development of Lenses has been successfully implemented and hasn’t damaged the spontaneous “here and now”, authentic feel – it has combined filters with real-time.

Another reason engagement is so high on the platform is that there are no worries about content existing forever. 24 hours is the maximum amount of time it will stay live, through “Stories”. This is very likely to be a reason why people keep coming back so often – there may be a fear of missing out on snaps, as there is absolutely no way of viewing them after expiration.

 

The Drivers

Many celebrities are also helping the app’s growth by nailing the platform and making use of the unique features it offers. Ellen DeGeneres, Jared Leto, Miley Cyrus – they are all using it for its exclusivity and real-life, behind-the-scenes moments (that and the drawing feature).

On a similar note, influencers also play a large part of the Snapchat community nowadays, especially for brands. Many of the top Snapchat influencers are YouTube veterans, so they know how the game works and just need to adapt slightly.

Creating cool snaps on a regular basis requires a lot of resources for brands and the high expectation for authenticity can be hard to meet. This is probably the main reason why only the big players, such as Nike, PepsiCo and TRESemmé have been willing to go all in from the very early stages and why many brands are trying to take part through the influencers. On the back of the huge success of Instagram influencers, it allows brands to be present in snaps, with lower risk and is less effort than having their own channel. This also offers them the chance to leverage their learnings from Instagram.

 

Advertising Features

In January 2015, Snapchat introduced “Discover”, a place for advertisers and especially media outlets to publish short pieces of content. Shortly after, they incorporated Geofilters – something you can’t quite imagine working on any other social media network. This forms another source of revenue by inviting companies to make their own Geofilter for a fee.

More recently, Lenses is beginning to show its potential for brands too by harnessing the fun factor, then redirecting consumers to a related checkout. Movies like X-Men are an obvious choice for the platform due to the multiple characters, but the list of possibilities is endless when considering characters and even real-life personalities.

 

Yo!

While considering the subject of simplicity and why Snapchat has been so successful, the only other great app I’ve seen simpler is Yo, where a user simply sends another user the message “Yo” with one tap on their name. The initial intention with this app was to encourage people to say “I’ll ‘Yo’ you when I’m there”, eliminating the need for texting “I’m here”.

The app has been further developed with a new version pushed out in Feb 2015 and was valued over $10 million during a funding round back in 2014. Many brands are also seeking to gain access to their growing mobile audience through it – an audience partly created by Snapchat. The app now offers alerts and news from more than 150 services including BuzzFeed, NBA, Coinbase, TechCrunch, MTV, and more. It seems there’s strong proof then, that to invent something new, sometimes you just have to make something current even simpler.