The use of Foursquare for Restaurants is maximizing the location element of your business. With the buzz going for geo-tagging and geo-locational search sites and apps, this app took it to the next level and offered both businesses and customers so much more.
It’s a social media app that offers geotagging features in a game format. And just like every social media platform, it allows you to connect with your friends using the same platform. It notifies users about the activities of their friends and vice versa.
From a business perspective, it is an app that allows consumers to see relevant businesses (according to their search) that are near their location. This app encourages its users to share information about a business, which helps other users as well.
So, if your customers check in at your business using this app, their friends will see every information they provide. Including your operation hours, if there’s good parking available, and their feedback regarding the quality of your menu items and service.
To simply put it, it’s like the digital version of word-of-mouth type of marketing. Your customers share information in their circle. The said circle are your potential customers. So it’s a must that every shared information through this app is updated.
Thinking that this might be the perfect app for you? Then you just need to read along to know more about it. This article aims to provide you a complete guide on how to use Foursquare for a restaurant business, regardless of its size.
Foursquare and Restaurants
Location is an important element of your success. As a business owner, it’s always part of your initial planning. Where do you want to build your restaurant? Would you prioritize high-foot traffic or lesser competition? It could make or break your success.
The developers of Foursquare stepped up the game and leveraged the power of location. They utilized the online movement of consumers and helped businesses to tap into these data and use them for their improvement.
This app caters to fifty-five million active monthly users worldwide and has venues in more than 190 countries. It’s a great way to expand your branding and marketing without the need of investing too much in it.
To help you understand the wonders of this app, here’s a quick overview of it.
What is Foursquare?
From a general point of view, it’s a reliable app that focuses on promoting local businesses all across the world by offering feedback and recommendations. In its early days, it was a location-based game that encouraged people to check in at places they visited.
Users of Foursquare can sign up directly from their mobile devices or via their computers. An ordinary email address, as well as your Facebook and/or Google+ accounts, can be used to create an account. Foursquare’s many perks make it a worthwhile app to use.
Users have rewarded points when they check into a location, and they will get more points if they check into a location for the first time. User scores accumulate, and they compete with each other to earn the most points.
The user badge will also appear on the profile after checking in at certain places. The process of unlocking badges is similar to gaining achievements. In addition, users who check-in at the same venue several times (at least as many times as their friends do) within sixty days will be promoted to the mayor. The unique gamification allows it to stand out and keep users returning and using it.
But due to its accessibility, its following grew and consumers easily got a hang out of it. They enjoyed doing check-ins and sharing information to the platform which led the founders to split the app into two. Thus, the birth of the Foursquare Swarm App.
The original Foursquare app now focuses on listings and the customer’s feedback, while the Swarm App is entirely for sharing and the game section of the original app.
Through this, the interface of both apps became more workable as users don’t have to do a bit of everything at once. They can just smoothly switch apps according to their current needs.
How can Foursquare help a business?
Regardless of the size of your company, this app helps you to gain the exposure that your marketing team is trying to work out. It increases your online and in-app visibility which allows more potential customers to check out your restaurant.
This app offers businesses different platforms but with the same audience to distinguish themselves as business owners. Adding your business to this app is free, but claiming your listing is a different thing (which we’ll discuss in a while).
Consumers freely leave feedback about your brand and share it with their network. It’s a more budget-friendly option if you’re avoiding joining the aggressive and expensive ad program of Yelp.
The application is designed to work on smartphone devices with GPS technology, such as the iPhone and Android phones. Consumer’s easy access makes it more appealing to them therefore the increase in interest in using it.
Foursquare can be used in several ways to grow restaurants. Potential customers can then find out about the store, even if they weren’t aware of it previously. Also, Foursquare offers users tips on what to eat at your restaurant based on the features unique to your restaurant.
It may have lost popularity during the early 2020s, but the current market situation makes today’s relaunch a perfect fit. With indoor hospitality opening slowly in major cities, you need restaurant technology that could encourage customers to dine in more often.
Aside from the gamified interface, the app also features an incentive-based format that motivates your customers; to become more socially active and to dine out more often.
Foursquare App and Swarm by Foursquare
Let’s learn a little bit more about these two main apps.
This app is available for both desktop and smartphone use. It can be downloaded through Apple, Google Play, and Microsoft stores. When a user opens this app, they can use it as a complete guide about the location they are in.
If they want to know where to find the city’s best pizza place or where the juiciest burgers are, then they just need to research it. The app will also offer them suggestions or they can create their search within the app.
Then, the interface will present your business with complete information about its location, photos uploaded by past customers, contact details, tips, and ratings from customers. Users will have a general idea of what you offer and how you are as a business in the eyes of a consumer.
The “tip” feature is what makes this app more interesting for consumers. This is where fellow customers are leaving information such as the best dish to try out, whether the service is recommended, or what’s the best hour to visit.
Aside from potential customers learning more about your business, you also get to see what are the areas that need improvement in your restaurant. You can take these tips and feedback as your guide in optimizing your entire management.
Swarm by Foursquare App
While this app is available for iOS, Windows, and Android, it has some limited functionalities when used with desktop. Swarm was developed to focus more on check-ins of users. It has an excellent user’s location calculator which makes it easier for it to make suggestions once you open your GPS.
This app is not for discovering new local restaurants, but for marking them once they have been discovered. Swarm and Foursquare apps share the same venue database therefore the information between them stays synched.
How To Use Foursquare For Your Restaurant – A Step By Step Guide
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you build your brand within this app should you consider using it.
Create your account.
Before anything else, you have to double-check first if your business is already listed in the app. Keep in mind that almost all the listings are user-generated, so there’s a huge possibility that your brand was listed by a customer in the past.
Once you’ve confirmed that there’s no listing made under your brand yet, you’ll be prompted to create your listing (account). You may opt to create under your business email or incorporate it using your restaurant’s Facebook or Google+ account.
You may then claim your listing after creating one. The process may take up to two weeks, as it includes further verification processes. After claiming, it’s now time to update and add accurate details about your restaurant.
Ensure that all the information you’ll provide to your listing is updated and relevant. Input everything including the nature of your business, your business’ location, company logo, and contact details. Consistency between your other online listing should be applicable with this listing as well.
It’s a plus that you include if there’s WiFi available, the condition of your parking space, your operating hours, and what type of payment methods you accept. The more you share key information, the more users will be enticed since they already know what they’re expecting.
Establish brand identity.
Provide consistent and truthful information on your profile. Maximize this platform to secure brand retention for your business. Upload logos that you use with your other social media profiles and online listings.
This makes it easier for customers to distinguish your brand no matter what platform or social media channel they use.
Promote your profile.
To gather more check-in and feedback for your profile, you must let others know about it. You may start by offering specials specifically for users of the app. It may be a risky investment but consumers are more attracted to do something if they will benefit from it as well.
Stay creative and look for what you can offer to your guests once they’ve checked in or leave praise-worthy feedback for you. Create an air of exclusivity to entice them in downloading and using the app more often.
Engaging and interactive Foursquare pages are essential. Adding “Check-in” and “Save to Favorites” buttons will encourage people to use them. Be sure that those buttons are easily visible so that they won’t be missed.
In addition to receiving the confirmation code for your claim, a sticker will be sent to your door when you confirm your claim for a business. As soon as they check-in, they will see your offers. Find out what others have to say. You’ll benefit greatly from it.
If you want to advertise your business on Foursquare, you can sign up for Foursquare ads, which are paid services. These ads will only appear on users if they are in the area close to your restaurant. It’s a pay-per-click system, so you only pay according to the number of people who click on your ad and check out your listing via the ad.
Motivate customers to use the app.
By providing your customers with satisfactory service, you can be sure to build up a loyal following of customers. The point is that you don’t wait until they are in your store to respond to their needs. Through contests and events, you can help your company and prospects get to know each other.
Foursquare makes it easy to do this since everyone can add comments, feedback, and pictures to your page. This is your chance to encourage your customers to talk and write about their best experience and their recommended menu items in your restaurant.
You can also ask your customers to vote for the best posts and win a prize for the best write-up. The same principle can also be applied to customer-posted pictures.
Cross-promote your other online listings.
Direct promotion helps you attract customers present on the same platform. If you want to expose your brand to a wider customer base, then you should consider cross-promoting your listing to your other online listings.
You can create attractive foursquare listings by uploading photos and links to those accounts. You can also download free social network buttons from Foursquare’s website’s Resources section.
It’s a good idea to put your Foursquare page on your business’s blog, website, and social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. Linked Instagram accounts allow you to visually enhance your Foursquare listing and entice visitors to like your posts.
Best Practices In Using Foursquare Business
This platform works wonders, especially for your restaurant marketing campaigns. Make the most out of this platform by trying out these best practices we’ve compiled for you.
Stay consistent with your branding.
This applies to almost every platform you’ll use. As long as you provide consumers consistent branding and services, you’ll have no problem building a trusting relationship with them.
Tips and rankings will be made out of different check-ins, feedback, and comments about your restaurant. It’s a platform where consumers can assure that there’s transparency between them and the local business they’re searching for.
If a potential guest is to check out your profile, make sure that they will see consistency with every detail (and even reviews) on it. This helps them determine that you’re a reliable brand that’s worth trying out for.
Offer special deals for traffic.
With plenty of businesses listed with this app, it may be hard for you to stand out right away. Make sure that you have enough extra resources which can support your special promotions or deals to attract more diners.
Just be careful on timing or using these special deals. Make sure that you can retain those customers who were enticed by your special promotion. There’s a great chance that they only tried you out since you have a great offer for them.
Use it as a loyalty program.
Yes, it’s possible to utilize this as your customer loyalty program. Having customers feel compelled to come back to a business is very effective since this builds a relationship between them and your restaurant.
The most important thing is to get new customers into the door, but a marketing or sales professional will tell you it’s the existing customers. If people visit your business frequently, take advantage of this opportunity to reward them with a special deal after they reach a check-in goal.
Connect through the platform.
It’s good for your customers to know that you spend time reading their comments. Also, you can learn from their feedback small to major things that you haven’t noticed about your business.
Make sure you will respond to your customers promptly and show them that you’re taking their suggestions and comments seriously. Thank them if they’ve written praises about your brand. If they left a criticism, thank them still and let them know that they are heard and you’ll work it out with your team.
Running a restaurant, you may have missed a thing or two that needs enhancement for your brand. Having a different set of perspectives is helpful as it’s able to see what are the things that need to go and to be improved.
It is always beneficial to have access to more customer information when you run a business. Most small business owners probably do not feel the need to survey customers to collect demographic information. Fortunately, this app can help you gather some of the needed data and organize it in an easily readable way.
Once you have this data on your hands, it’ll be easier for you to pivot your business in a manner that’s more favorable for your customers. It empowers your team and your entire operations to provide a better and customized service with your customers leading to a more satisfactory dining experience.