Last week, we taught you about going beyond the social basics and including Pinterest, Instagram, or Soundcloud in your social strategy. Today, I’m going to show you how Foursquare for brands can be a part of your strategy, even if your business doesn’t have a physical location.
For businesses that have locations to check into, Foursquare can be a hub for tips, incentives, and social sharing. But, that doesn’t mean that Foursquare is the only the territory of stores and restaurants. Thanks to app updates and feature improvements, Foursquare has made itself into a valuable tool for brands, bands, athletes, and others. Many of us here are Foursquare junkies – shootouts to FanBridge mayors (as of post date) Nathan (mayor of both San Francisco and Buenos Aires offices) and Hannah (NYC) - so, we’ve assembled a guide to using Foursquare as a brand or non-venue.
If you’re going to use Foursquare for your brand, you’ll need to setup a brand page first. This will also serve as your Foursquare account. Brand Pages provide a hub for your Foursquare activity. Fans can find your page either through a direct link or by browsing the Foursquare Page Gallery. Plus, your Brand Page will be home to all the tips you leave, the lists you make, and basic information about your brand.
Once your Brand Page is setup, you’re ready to start adding content.
If you’re a Foursquare user, you’ve certainly seen them pop-up after a checkin. The most popular tip is displayed, plus a link to view all tips at a location. Many businesses have taken advantage of this mobile real estate by writing tips that earn lots of likes. If you’ve checked into an airport, you may have seen a tip from everyone’s favorite airplane mail-order catalog, Skymall. In NYC, high-end real estate group Corcoran have effectively risen to the top of tips lists at numerous stores and restaurants.
Writing tips sounds easy, but you’ll be competing with other companies and user-generated content to get that top spot. Why have other brands succeeded with a Foursquare tips strategy? They’re writing tips that have actual value to users and keeping their content relevant. Don’t go on a tip writing spree just to get your content in as many places as possible. Instead, have a more narrow focus and figure out the kinds of venues to leave tips for and construct interesting information. Insider expertise is always a plus!
Power Tip: Don’t add all your tips at once. They could all show up in your followers’ feeds at the same time. This could drive fans to unlike your Foursquare page if they think you’re cluttering everything.
Want to reenact your favorite reality TV fights? Bravo has a list of every NYC Real Housewives drama spot. Save the list and you’ll be carrying a checklist of places with recaps of the scenes filmed there.
By creating a list, Bravo is able to save a group of tips to a user’s account at once. This means that there are more options for a Bravo-endorsed Foursquare tip to show up post-checkin. Unlike individual tips, lists are saved in their own section on both the Foursquare site and the mobile app. Users can therefore easily return to lists that they’ve saved. They’ll also see suggestions for similar lists to save, so a list you create can be found by new fans, even if they haven’t Liked your Foursquare brand page yet.
Once you’ve established followers and likes and maxed out on tips for the time being, you’ll need to continue finding your way into users’ feeds. Foursquare users check their feeds to see where their friends are checking in. Checking in isn’t just for individuals, though. Your brand page can also check into the same locations. Try checking into your office, special events, conferences, or anyplace you find your business visiting.
For brand pages, you’ll need to check in on the Foursquare website and not through the mobile app. If you do need to check in on-the-go, you can find mobile web instructions on Foursquare’s support site. Always include a comment on your check ins. Unlike an individual user sharing an evening’s plans with friends, you need to increase engagement and communicate the purpose of your check ins to everyone following your brand.
Power Tip: Including an image increases the size of the check in on fans’ feeds. Plus, visual content always performs better on other social networks, so it’ll be engaging on Foursquare, as well.
Make sure you’re linking to your Foursquare page on other social presences and websites, and share the link through social channels. While the Brand Page will appear in the Page Gallery and your tips will start showing up when non-fans check into venues, it’s still a best practice to directly drive fans to the Brand Page.