Intro to Foursquare

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It is likely, if you have a Facebook account, that you have seen the message “Your friend [insert friend here] has just checked in”.  And you probably have wondered to yourself what that is all about.  Well I am here to help explain that.  For reference, here is my profile on Foursquare: http://foursquare.com/user/pwbj

What has happened is your friend decided to jump on the social networking bandwagon and downloaded the Foursquare App to their smart phone.  We all lead busy lives, going from here to there.  Some places are interesting like that neat little restaurant or great little pastry shop.  Other places are more mundane; dry cleaners, endless walking through Home Depot (one of my favorites), or grocery store.  But everything is just that much more interesting when you can share it with friends.  Now I am not suggesting piling all your friends into the minivan for a jaunt off to HD, but you can allow them to tag along with Foursquare.  Foursquare allows you to go into a business, and with your smartphone, checkin.  You can even write a little note to add some flavor.

Here is how it works…

  • You enter the business
  • Pull out your wizbang phone with the Foursquare app installed
  • Select Checkin, and a list of nearby businesses will appear (it knows because your phone has a GPS in it)
  • Select the business, if it isn’t there you can add it
  • Choose to add a note (ie. “checking out the 100th wine at Burtons”)
  • Choose to send to friends (Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook)
  • Click checkin.  And there you go you are checked in

You will get a welcome screen with some little messages such as, number of stops you have made that day, the points you have accrued that day, and how many times you have been to that venue.  If you are the “Mayor” it will let you know, but more about that in a minute.  And if you got a “badge” it will let you know as well, more about that in two minutes.  And for those that like to cheat, “winners never cheat, and cheaters never win”, and if that doesn’t convince you, the application is smart enough to know where your phone is when you checkin.  So if you are to far away, it will let you know, and then “no points, no badges for you!”

You can become a Mayor by being the person that has checked into that business the most (also, you need to have a profile picture uploaded otherwise you can’t be mayor of anything).  Sometimes there is a friendly competition between customers on who can be the mayor.  That equates to more loyalty and more traffic for the business.

What is all the talk about those silly badges?  Foursquare is part game, and this game can sometimes get serious.  Users of Foursquare are constantly on the quest for new badges.  You get badges by doing certain things, checking in a number of times, or going certain places.  I for one am working on my Barista Badge which I will get once I have checked into five different Starbucks.  I am not a usual customer of this high-brow coffee house, but recently I am quick to pull in when I pass by a new one.  By the way, I really like their Vanilla Frappuccino things.  This clearly is driving new business for them, and it really can for those businesses that embrace this new social marketing opportunity.

“Enough Paul, I am convinced, how do I get on this train?”

Ok, yes I can get long winded (no comments from the peanut gallery).  So becoming a Foursquare User is pretty easy, especially if you have a smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, etc) …

  1. Go to www.foursquare.com and register for an account
  2. After creating an account, on your phone go to your App Store, search for Foursquare, and install
  3. Login to Foursquare on your phone
  4. When you get to a business where you want to checkin, follow the steps above

I hope this helps get you acquainted with Foursquare.  And if you are in North Andover, please make sure you take advantage of the Foursquare promotions that local merchants are providing.

If you want a more professional overview I suggest these two links…

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2 Responses to “Intro to Foursquare”

  1. […] This day is not only for local businesses and residents alike, but also serves as a great example of how businesses can utilize this service to not only connect with their customers, but draw in new ones while providing incentive for all. FourSquare is making it easier for businesses to gain insight on the demographics of those who frequent their establishments as well as offer a fun way to interact with them. For those of you who are not sure what FourSquare is or just “don’t get it”, Paul Belanger has created an “Intro to FourSquare“. […]


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