In last week's Mobile Monday, we went over how different types of businesses can use Foursquare. As promised, we're going to be spending the next few Mondays going into more detail on working Foursquare into your social media marketing strategy. This week, we're talking about Foursquare brand pages.
Foursquare brand pages are a great way for businesses to interact with Foursquare users more than a venue can. Brand pages are best for businesses that manage multiple venues or don't have a physical or central location, such as online businesses, brands that are sold in other stores, and media companies.
To get started building a presence on Foursquare through a brand page, here are a few activities to focus on.
1. Leave Valuable Tips at Venues
By leaving tips at venues your target audience is likely to visit, you're not only adding content to your brand page, it will also be seen by users looking at the venue. Tips can be saved, liked, or marked as "done" by users.
Only the most popular tips are shown on the venue's page, but visitors can click to view all tips left at the venue. Stand out from other tips by really trying to be helpful and uploading a picture to go along with your tips to attract attention.
The best tips are interesting, helpful to the venue's visitors, or provide "insider" or "VIP" information. For example, the History Channel's brand page leaves tips with pieces of trivia and fun facts about different landmarks. Another idea is to recommend products or services offered at the venue. Most tips are short recommendations, so you'll stand out if you add detail, such as what kind of person you're suggesting it for, and upload a picture of what you're recommending. Lastly, you can provide some little-known information, such as "there's a bathroom on the second floor that's much cleaner and less crowded than the one on the main level.
2. Check-In to Venues With Brand Updates
Not many people are aware that brand pages can check-in on Foursquare. This can't be done using the mobile app, but it can be done via the website or mobile website. The About Foursquare blog has a great tutorial on all the ways you can check-in as a brand. To stand out and keep your brand page interesting, be sure to add a comment, photo, tip, or all of the above with each check-in. Not only will users notice these tips more, but they'll be more likely to engage with it. While the page can't check-in to venues that it manages, there are still opportunities for promotion.
For example, the Houston Texans checks in to football stadiums on game days. Your brand can check-in to places and events that your followers will be interested in or will be attending themselves. A good example given on one of Foursquare's support pages is a gym's brand page checking in to buy more exercise equipment.
3. Create a Badge for Users to Unlock
Fair warning: this is the only tip that isn't free, and it has quite a large price tag attached. But badges are one of the foundations of Foursquare. In addition to the built-in badges, such as the ones for becoming mayor of a venue or checking in a certain number of times, brand pages can apply to have a custom badge.
If you're a big enough brand with a budget big enough for a custom badge, users will love it. Badges can be awarded for checking into a certain number of venues on one of your lists, such as the History Channel's 'Historian' badge, or a certain event like the Superbowl. Custom badges can even have specials attached to them.
4. Curate Venues and Tips Using Lists
Creating lists is like creating to-do lists or challenges for your followers and other Foursquare users. Like tips, lists can be shown on a venue's page, making it seen by more than just your followers. You can promote your venues by creating a list of all of your locations, or curate and categorize all of the venues you've left tips at.
For example, look at the Travel Channel's lists. They create lists based around their different shows with locations featured on the show, along with helpful lists for travelers, such as places to go to during layovers in different cities. You can create lists based around your city, like "Best pizza places in Baltimore," or more centered around your brand, like Bravo's list of "Drama Spots" from the Real Housewives of NYC.
5. Promote Your Page
Of course, what good is doing all of this if your existing network of fans doesn't know about it? It's much easier to inform your current fan base about a new profile than it is to build a completely new one on a different social network. A lot of your audience is probably on Foursquare already, but they can't connect with your page if they don't know about it.
By connecting your Foursquare brand page to other profiles on Facebook and Twitter, you have the option of posting check-ins, tips, etc. to those profiles as well. You can also occasionally share links to your brand page via social media or email. And don't forget your website visitors! The Foursquare 'Resources' page has a few different buttons you can add to your website by customizing a bit of code and putting it on your website.
What brands do you follow on Foursquare? What do they do that makes them worthy of a follow? Share in the comments!