When explaining Foursquare to people, I often hear the baffled response, “So people check in places… and then what?”
Like any social phenomenon, it doesn’t have to make perfect sense to you in order to get on board, learn, and reap the benefits. Foursquare is a location-based social network, and one of the most rapidly growing applications in this movement we call the social media revolution.
If you don’t understand why people are using Foursquare (as it just so happens, we discuss several reasons in a previous blog post), then let the numbers speak for themselves. In 2010, Foursquare grew by 3400%. In just over the last six months, Foursquare has gone from 1 million users to registering over 10 million users who account for well over a million check-ins per day. Not shabby, despite the number of skeptics and business owners who “just don’t get it.”
What’s not to get? People use the geo-specific tracking application to check in to their favorite restaurants, shops, theatres, etc. to share tips and information with friends and followers. Then, Foursquare gathers and displays valuable marketing information (like frequent visitors, gender, time of day, etc.) that helps business owners gain insights as to who their audience is. Business owners can then extend special offers to promote loyalty among current consumers or incentives to garner new ones. And with the latest version, these locations that boast specials on Foursquare are more visible to users than ever, and stick out as highlighted businesses when users are nearby. Users can even see when Groupons or other deals are available.
Odds are, your business is already on Foursquare whether you like it or not. People are checking in, leaving tips (good or bad), and sharing with their friends. And Foursquare is collecting the data on who and when they check in. But are you there to benefit from it?
Keep in mind that the more than ten million users are still largely considered early adapters and influencers… exactly the type of crowd you want to reach. So with all the valuable information your company has to gain from Foursquare and all the statistics favoring the social trend, the questions remains: has your business checked in?
[Take a gander at this infographic published by Foursquare]