3 Things You Might Not Know About Foursquare, But Should


Foursquare is undergoing a transformation from a social gamification network to a hyper-local information hub. And its new strategy to integrate crowdsourcing should make the transition much easier for the company.

For brands with brick and mortar outposts, marketing and promoting brand awareness is inherent in Foursquare’s DNA.

Currently there are around 1.5 million businesses on the network, and it is growing quickly. The company reports that it has 30 million users worldwide who check in over 3 billion times each day.

The network should presumably expand its reach and be able to offer even more information on public spaces (much like Yelp or CitySearch) by allowing users to populate its directory.

So what’s at stake for brands and communications professionals? To start with, it’s another unique channel to connect and engage with stakeholders. Also, when it comes to leveraging social it shouldn’t be an either-or, it should be an all-of-the-above proposition. Therefore, Foursquare should factor into your strategy if your company or client has a publicly visited location.

With that in mind, here are three things communicators should know and think about when it comes to Foursquare.

1.     Foursqure is a pull medium. Networks like Facebook and Twitter are characteristically push mediums, meaning that brands are often initiating engagement by pushing content to users. Foursquare bucks that trend in that users start the conversation by checking in to a location. That means they are already at the action stage within the funnel, thus are much more likely to produce a transaction—a revenue event.

2.     Foursquare rewards its loyal users. While the gamification aspect of Foursqure may be phased out over time, some of its fundamental attributes could prove to be valuable for brands. That is, offering incentives to check into a location is an effective tactic to sustain and attract new interest.

3.     Engagement equals sales. At the end of the day, the only metric that matters is sales. If a user has taken the time to check into your location then chances are they are probably going to make a transaction. Not only that, but a check in is implicitly an endorsement for your brand. Getting a hundred likes on Facebook or dozens of retweets is great, but neither can be directly tied to more revenue, therefore the value of Foursquare almost speaks for itself. 

Follow Caysey Welton: @CayseyW




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About Caysey Welton

Caysey Welton is Associate Editor at PR News and Folio: Magazine. He spent more than a decade as a chef and restaurant professional before switching tracks to pursue his passion for media and communications. Caysey has a deep interest in converging media landscapes and ecosystem disruptors, public relations and crisis communications. He holds a BS in Media, Culture and Communications from New York University.



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  • http://www.buildandbalance.com/ Michael_N

    Caysey, I like the point about Foursquare being a Pull medium. Interesting. But wouldn’t Twitter be that, too, when someone tweets about a brand? This does happen frequently. I’d really like to see more businesses get in to the game of rewarding check-ins and mayorships. It’s still a rarity in Northern California where I frequently check in. It seems many businesses are totally missing out on this point.

    • Caysey Welton

      I would argue that both Twitter and Facebook have pull affordances, but the newsfeed inherently makes them push mediums.