Time for Small Businesses to Play the Location Game

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Are you a venue or location-based small business or nonprofit? If so, it is time to consider playing the location game.

A number of emerging social media tools – most notably Foursquare – are beginning to play a key role in how certain customers interact with businesses.

Foursquare, for instance, allows users with smartphones to find new ways to explore a city or region. Using some game elements (points and badges), it combines reviews, Twitter, and Facebook into a seamless package that helps users meet up with friends and discover places, people, and experiences.

When a customer comes into your store, for instance, they “check-in” using their smartphone and automatically tell their friends where they are and what they think. The person who makes the most visits to a store (or any location) achieves “mayor” status. As a venue, Foursquare can tell you how many times a customer has been to your venue or the frequency of their visits. Many venues are now using this data to reward their most loyal customers with freebies or discounts.

This is powerful social stuff. It is a basic human need/desire to be somebody and achieving status through Foursquare is a visible way to advertise and use social capital.

Even though it has been initially available only in large cities, that changed last week when Foursquare opened up its product nationwide. So now every venue, every business can begin to use Foursquare to build and reward customer loyalty.

Here are three articles that give a good overview of the opportunity.

Photo credit: Flickr/NickWebb

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