According to Consumer Affairs, “Over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries shows that nine in every ten Internet consumers trust recommendations from people they know.” Word of mouth marketing has always been one of the most effective ways for businesses to gain customers. Location-based social networks like Foursquare have only added to the impact of word of mouth as it’s now easier than ever for regular customers to become brand advocates.
Virtual word-of-mouth marketing happens without thought when consumers check-in to their favorite spots via Foursquare and rave about great service or an excellent offer. Users then have the option to save a location to visit later, read tips left by consumers, or see posts from the business itself.
This opportunity for free word-of-mouth marketing puts pressure on businesses to not only have a presence on the social media site, but to develop ways to encourage fans, customers, and friends to share their actions and thoughts online. Promotions in store, in print, and online including links and URLs to “check in” at your location or to leave positive tips online not only enhance everyone’s experience but they also add to the word of mouth around your brand.
Whether you manage a single location or a chain, you can get discovered, reward loyal customers, and monitor your daily traffic by using Foursquare’s free tools for businesses. While you may be one of the million businesses already using Foursquare to connect with customers, are you taking full advantage of this social platform?
Here are three Foursquare tips for growing user engagement and word of mouth for your business:
1. Drive New Customers with a Newbie Special
Getting new customers through your doors can be difficult. Consider running a special discount to anyone who checks in on their first visit. Specials can include a discount on that visit or a visit in the future, encouraging guests to return. Happy Paws, a New York pet resort offering premier amenities such as daycare, training, and grooming, offers a special that gives first-time customers a 20% discount on their next purchase.
2. Release Behind-the-Scenes Details
When running a business, it’s hard to always jump on a computer to share updates. That’s why Foursquare released their Foursquare for Business companion app last month to help business owners share news with their customers right from their phone. Use this added mobility to share your daily updates and easily cross-post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time. Fashion retailer H&M uses updates to announce the launch of new collections, holiday deals, or in-store events with leading fashion experts.
3. Find Reasons to Get People Talking
Sometimes it’s not the brand or the product that will get consumers talking. Instead it’s something on-site or in-store that makes their visit special. Consider what you can offer as a brand that differentiates you from your competition. DoubleTree by Hilton gives out a cookie to every guest as they check in, giving out approximately 60,000 chocolate chip cookies each day. As you look at most of their locations on Foursquare, it’s hard to find a listing that doesn’t include at least one tip about their sweet treat.
Customer service is still the key when using social media. And if you do a good job online, the offline word of mouth marketing will begin to increase as well.
How is your business using Foursquare today? How could you get people talking about your brand as they check-in?