Emerging Platforms Social Media

Customer Acquisition Strategy Got You Running in Circles? Try Foursquare

Posted by Tara Meehan on August 5th, 2011 at 6:41 am

Let’s do a little experiment. Don’t worry Bunsen burners and lab coats are not required. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “social media”? Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? OK next question. What’s the first social network that comes to mind when you hear “Social CRM”? Again, maybe it’s one of the big three. But what about the fourth, the network everyone knows but few know anything about? Yes, I’m talking about Foursquare. I can almost hear the collective “aha” moment from digital marketers far and wide. Right Foursquare! And then nothing but a sigh. That’s because the customer acquisition ability of Foursquare is a giant question mark. Can Foursquare be effectively leveraged by B2C and B2B companies alike to drive results? Absolutely as long as it plays to its strengths, namely check-ins and mayors, and then continuously improves them for maximum campaign adaptability.

Give Consumers the Benefit of the Check-in

Check-ins are a great way to develop brand loyalty but as is true of any social initiative, they only work when done correctly. Let’s say you run a bar and you’re interested in establishing a social presence to encourage patronization. You decide the best way to go about this is via a Foursquare promotion – Check-in 10 times and Get a Free Beer. Really, is that copy the best you can muster to attract customers? The deal is of little benefit to the customer. And it might give life to stinging social comments like “I Checked-in 10 Times and All I Got Was a Lousy Pale Ale.” Instead, try re-framing the check-in with the following copy - Every 4th visit, get a free beer and 50% off a select dinner. This is clearly rewarding your customers for their loyalty. It is likely to produce positive social buzz and serve as motivation for repeat business.

Check-ins Aren't Just for B2C Clients

B2C-themed check-ins won’t work for B2B but check-ins can still be effective for B2B companies with a little outside the box thinking. Ask users to check-in at industry trade shows to receive promotional offers or to win prizes by accumulating badges, which are earned by checking into venues. This will deliver traffic to your booth or show event and give your integrated social and sales program a boost. But for every great idea, there’s a fail.  Don’t make the mistake of asking clients to check-in during on-site meetings for discounted rates or free trials. Clients will wonder why they have to do “social work” to get better deals prompting partnership check-outs en masse.

Make Room for Mayors but Don’t Let Them Rule Strategy

Foursquare mayors are users with the most venue check-ins over a 60 day period. It is the assumption of customer value in the mayor metric that drives many Foursquare customer acquisition strategies. But a mayor is only one customer. Promotions should never be marketed exclusively to mayors. Mayors should be strategically leveraged regardless of whether your business is B2B or B2C. Dig deeper into the mayor metric. Make special check-ins available to the closest mayoral competition. This approach provides good incentive for the consumer and is great for your bottom line. Also, know your Foursquare user, not just the profile. Understanding user personalities and trends will help you target and pen engaging check-ins for future campaigns.

Let Foursquare Help Sales Check-in

With punchy copy and clear consumer benefits, Foursquare check-ins can work wonders for your customer acquisition strategy. Still, be sure to ‘check’ yourself before you wreck yourself.  Understand your audience. Know the types of deals your customers would find most valuable. Check-ins are for them, not for you. But when done correctly, it won’t be long before your check-ins result in improved customer loyalty and sales.

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