I’ve been convinced over the last few months that location based services like Foursquare are going to be huge this year. Foursquare’s latest move may be the just the catalyst needed for this technology to catch fire.
Foursquare is now making itself much more business friendly by offering a suite of tools for business owners to use in conjunction with the service.
Now every unclaimed business venue has a link asking, “Are you the manager of this business?” The link takes managers to a page asking them for proof that they are indeed the manager so that Foursquare’s sales team can call them to set them up with tools for claiming their venue and managing offers. There is also a new Businesses page explaining the different tools available to local merchants.
Businesses who claim their venues on Foursquare get a dashboard with realtime stats on number of check-ins, times of day people check in, most recent visitors, and most frequent visitors. They can also manage the offers and badges people get when they check in. These include Mayor specials, specials for people who check in a certain number of times, or wildcard specials which can be customized. A special can be anything from a free drink to 20 percent off a purchase.
This is pretty exciting stuff. I can imagine this being very popular with businesses. The marketing potential of this technology is impossible to calculate at this point because it’s just too new. Mobile technology in all its forms is getting more popular by the second largely due to the iPhone. Local businesses need a way to cash-in on this technology and integrate their brands with it. Foursquare is undoubtedly the first of what will be many companies developing ways to do that.
Businesses should take advantage of this and give it a try. There’s no downside to registering your venue on Foursquare and creating a couple of promotions.