Top 5 reasons bars and restaurants need to pay attention to Foursquare
Foursquare provides an easy (and free) opportunity for you to reach out to current customers and give them incentives for continuing to give you their business.
Promotions such as a free drink for patrons after every five visits to your bar or a discounted appetizer after ten check-ins are simple and relatively inexpensive ways to show your core clients you value their patronage.
Foursquare's Mayor program is another chance for you to flex your promotional muscles, this time providing incentive for your best customers to compete with one another. The person with the most check-ins over a 30-day period become your bar's ‘mayor.' A choice parking spot or reserved bar stool for the mayor is a perk your most regular of regulars will enjoy fighting over.
2. Inform others
Whether you are actively involved with the site or not, rest assured your customers are using Foursquare. There are going to be people who find your location via the site, either when they are at your bar or are in the neighborhood and looking for a new place to visit. With that in mind you should want to ensure the information they find is thorough and accurate.
FourSquare allows you to claim your venue, which consists of confirming your geographic location and providing the site evidence that you operate the business. At that point you can add personal information such as photos, information or a link to your website.
3. Inform yourself
Once you have registered your business with Foursquare you have the opportunity to take advantage of the site's “Venue Stats” option.
This mean you'll be able to view, in real time, information related to your most frequent visitors, your most recent visitors and the total number of check-ins over a period of time. You can also access stats such as gender of those who check-in and the time of day people arrive.
If you do get to the point where are you connecting promotions to FourSquare, this service will allow you to monitor what is working and tweak your strategy utilizing a statistical foundation.
One of the better features of FourSquare is the ability to utilize the service as a way to reach people who were otherwise unfamiliar with your business.
In much the same way we talked about creating incentives for your best customers to keep coming back, you can target a customer who might otherwise have never walked in the door. If there are two similar bars within blocks of one another, a person might be more inclined to visit the one offering half-off an initial round drink for those who check-in on FourSquare for the first time.
5. Keep up with your customers and competitions
With more than half a million businesses registered with FourSquare it's likely that if your competition isn't using the site now they soon will be. There is no reason to give up an edge to those already taking advantage of FourSquare and it makes good sense to get a leg up if the other guys are slow to adapt to modern technology.
Since your customers are enjoying using FourSquare, it follows they'll pay closer attention to businesses they find using the service. Having something in common with the way the modern consumer makes his or his decisions is critical.
Barry Chandler is the founder of Interactive Hospitality, a digital marketing agency that unlocks the potential of bars and restaurants to attract new customers using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter & Foursquare.
Interactive Hospitality accepts 10 new clients each month. Not every business is a fit, but if you're passionate about your business and your customers, you could join the growing list of customers taking their business to the next level. You can apply for a spot here.