Foursquare recently announced "Explore", their new web-based tool that takes geosocial and local search to a new level. Check out these enticing perks that come along with the new features.
Beyond mobile check-ins for badges and mayorship battles, Foursquare Explore now leverages this data in a useful fashion as a web-based personalized search engine.
Consider for a moment that you're looking for a local place to visit for shopping, dining, nightlife, or recreation... What thoughts come to mind?
- Where have or haven't I been before?
- What places are popular?
- What places would my friends or colleagues suggest?
- What places have deals or specials?
- What does the place look like?
- What should I try when I get there?
Regardless of if we're searching online, we all contemplate some of these questions. Channeling this thought process into a tool seems to be a brilliant idea. Behold, Foursquare Explore is here!
The process is simple:
- Login or create an account at Foursquare.com
- If you just created an account, add friends from Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, or Yahoo Mail.
- Click Explore to begin your local search:
Results can be filtered by related check-in data and the interactive map allows you to easily zoom and drag the map accordingly. The iconography for location types helps to visually spot places you may be seeking.
Top 10 Reasons to Check Out "Foursquare Explore"
- Flexibility - From your smartphone, tablet, or web browser, searching can easily be done by keyword or category and then be filtered to personalize results by location.
- Specificity - Specific searches for things like "tiramisu" and "wine list", adjectives like "romantic" and "delicious", or time-significant keywords like "Friday" or "summer" work great because tips and lists are indexed.
- Retained Privacy - Even if you don't personally like to do mobile check-ins, you can benefit from your friends' check-ins, tips, and lists along with 1.5 billion more from the Foursquare community.
- Outing Ideas - Easily "save" places to visit later if you come across enticing tips or specials, and mark them "done" to remove them from your list.
- Money Savings - Current local "coupons" and deals are easy to find! Just filter results by places that "have Foursquare specials."
- Popularity - Displayed check-in counts help to identify hot spot destinations you'll likely enjoy. If there's a high number of unique check-ins by friends, that could also indicate a higher chance of bumping into a friend at the destination.
- Travel Tips - Search for places proximate to any worldwide location, and Foursquare will suggest personalized "top picks" based on check-ins in your home town.
- Adventures - Confidently find and try out new places that you "haven't been to yet" by scanning tips from places your "friends have been to" or by using Browse Categories > Top Picks for popular results.
- Recovered Memories - Perhaps you checked into a place you visited outside of town two years ago, but you can't remember the name. If you roughly remember the location, you can search by places you "have been to" and easily be able to find it again.
- Friendships - Grow relationships by learning what places you may unexpectedly have in common with your Foursquare acquaintances and friends.
Geosocial SEO Action List
If you have a public location you want users visit, consider planning a strategy to acquire visits from Foursquare Explore.
- Create or claim your Foursquare location if you haven't already.
- Regularly review check-in comments and tips to see what users are saying. (Scan for sentiments, adjectives, or long-tail specific query opportunities.)
- Define a strategy to get more check-ins, photos and tips.
- Use a QR code at entries for check-ins or exits for encouraging tip submission. (Be sure to follow QR conversion best practices.)
- Identify photo opportunity areas and promote them with Foursquare ads. (i.e. menus, check-out counters, waiting areas, etc.)
- Mention being featured in cool Foursquare lists as social proof and inspiration for others to list you.
- Include sentiments, adjectives, and other targeted Foursquare SEO keywords with your ads, especially on-site! (Quality check-in comments can work great as testimonials.)
What Do You Think?
A local search tool that includes personalized tips from friends, visit history for you and your friends, and current coupons/specials definitely presents more value than merely earning a badge or mayorship.
Although Foursquare has been known for their mobile app, do you think this new utility will help evolve them into a mainstream application? Please share your thoughts in the comments. If you're tempted to check out Foursquare Explore be sure to share this post!
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