Foursquare, the mobile geo-location social network, has made a big shift designed to target businesses and brands. You can now build a page for your company, get "followed," share tips, and otherwise interact with the Foursquare community.
The Self-Serve Pages and Foursquare Incentives
There are currently more than 3,000 business and brand pages, but those were developed at the rate of about 70 per week over the last 19 months. Worse yet, as the recent Foursquare blog post reminds us, the company developed the look of each page internally, with an entire "BizDev" team devoted to page creation.
The self-serve option is a gift to both that team and to basically anyone else in the world. The self-serve pages let you quickly create a branded hub on Foursquare that allows you to interact with the community. The most notable way to interact with the community is through sharing "tips" on specific locations.
Those tips should certainly be relevant to both your brand and the locale, but to creative minds, there are plenty of possibilities. Starbucks, for example, has shared info on which local celebrities stop into which locations, while Red Bull tells people where in large locations (e.g., airports, malls, etc.) their energy drinks are available. The tips are shown to any individual who follows your page.
Creating a full page and adding tips is enough to get your brand into the Foursquare Page Gallery, increasing your visibility. For enterprise-scale groups, the option to have multiple users make changes or leave tips through your page makes maintenance easier. All that combined with the relationship marketing potential makes this a great resource for either local companies or bigger brands.
How to Create a Foursquare Page
So you've decided you're interested? Luckily, the process is now quite simple. Just follow these steps:
- Sign in to Foursquare (or, if necessary, create an account).
- Go to the Page Creation landing page. Click "Create a Page." This will prompt you to sign in via Twitter if you haven't done so already.
- You'll see a form with information that's been imported from Twitter. Your company name, website, and contact information will all be pulled. Review it for accuracy.
- Fill out the additional items, paying special note to the "Page Description" and "Banner Image." They're both necessary steps to appearing in the Page Gallery.
- Hit the confirmation button on the bottom of the screen to finalize the page.
- Find five locations and leave tips.
You're now done and qualified for the Page Gallery. I ran through the initial steps for my own account (though it's admittedly not well optimized). This page took me 10 minutes, tips included.