Foursquare’s a neat little service that many people have forgotten about. Sure, it’s got 10 million users, which is a LOT but how many are active? And compared to Facebook (approaching a billion) it’s not so much.
However, small retailers who take the time to use Foursquare or Gowalla to encourage their retail customers to come back to their store, again and again, will find that these free tools can boost profits.
Encourage your customers to add these location based service apps to their smartphones. Encourage your customers to use them to get incentives FOR checking in.
The NY Times writes how small retailers are using these services and writes:
If you rely on local and foot traffic and you haven’t already claimed your page on these services, sign up. Strange Brew’s Mr. Reed prefers Gowalla to Foursquare because he finds the interface more to his liking, but he concedes it’s merely a personal preference. Once you’ve claimed your listing, cross-promote by adding links to your location-based pages to your Web and social media pages. Gowalla’s chief executive, Josh Williams, says small businesses can benefit from editing their listings. “Fans have contributed their impressions of a business on Gowalla,” he said, “so small businesses need to go to Gowalla and make sure your business information is represented correctly and add topical, timely info, like the type of coffee that’s roasting right now. The second thing is to encourage your fans or customers to come by and check in — if your business is a hot spot, it will rise to the top of the list of businesses in your area, and that’s a great way to stand out.”