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foursquare Moves Beyond the Badge Game and Looks to Become King of Local Search/Discovery

By now, just about everyone knows about foursquare. The location-based social network has been around for a few years now and boasts a user base of over fifteen million. You may have been enthralled at foursquare during its first big push. It was fun. You could check-in to a venue, earn points, maybe a badge and maybe even some free swag for becoming mayor of a particular venue. The novelty of leaderboards, points, badges and mayorships has worn off, and while you may have been paying less attention to it lately, if you are a business that benefits from local search and discovery, you may want to keep foursquare on your radar. For the past year or so, foursquare has been quietly reinventing itself into a local search and discovery engine ready to take on the likes of Yelp and Google. Let’s look at a few of foursquare’s recent upgrades to their platform…
  • Explore: Explore gives a foursquare user tips and info about venues around them that their foursquare friends have already visited.
  • Lists: foursquare now allows users to organize venues in lists. Users can also follow lists that interest them. Using the Explore feature mentioned above, a user can be notified when they near a venue on one of the lists they have either created or follow.
  • Radar: Launched late last year, radar is a mechanism by which foursquare can recommend to users nearby venues they may want to check out.
  • Menus: foursquare recently entered into an agreement with online menu provider SinglePlatform that gives them access to over thirteen million menu items in the U.S. Now, if a person is looking on foursquare for a nearby restaurant to try out, the odds are good that they will be able to sneak a peek at the menu before deciding to dine there.
  • Nearby: foursquare recently added a ‘nearby’ section to brand pages. This new feature helps the user find the closest locations of a chain or a business with multiple locations. For example, say you are a Starbucks loyalist and are traveling on business. A quick visit to the Starbucks brand page and you will see all of the shops near your current location.
  • Business Hours: This is the most recent foursquare addition and, like menus, a very handy feature for mobile searchers. Businesses now have the ability to list their hours of operation on their venue page(s). When someone locates your store, they now can easily find out what time you are open until.
It is clear that foursquare wants to be the go-to tool for individuals out and about and using their smartphone to find someplace to go or a business that fills a particular current need. If they continue on their current path, foursquare may be giving local discovery king Yelp and local search king Google a run for their money in the future. Local search and discovery benefits so many industries. Hospitality, entertainment, retail and professional services are only a few of the industries that are witnessing a growing portion of their patrons originating from their mobile marketing efforts. If your business benefits from local search and discovery, you should at least have a presence on foursquare and then be ready to beef it up as they add more options. Don’t know where to start? That’s where wedu steps in. Our digital marketing team can create a mobile strategy specifically developed with your business’ needs in mind. foursquare, Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. etc.- we will structure your campaign to incorporate the most appropriate mobile tools for your business needs. Contact our team today to get our digital minds thinking about how your company will be found by mobile searchers.
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