07.31.2014

How the New Foursquare Factors into Your Reputation Management Strategy

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If you haven’t “checked in” on Foursquare lately, now is the time. Our SM3 team swears by the mobile app – it’s a perfect storm of engagement. The app gets loyal brand advocates to compete over becoming a location’s “mayor” while attracting new guests with its built in “tips,” or mini-reviews. But Foursquare is making big changes to challenge Yelp as the go-to restaurant review app. Are you ready?

What’s Changing About Foursquare?

Foursquare is rebranding in a major way, and yes, it will affect your restaurant. The traditional Foursquare experience where guests “check-in” to locations and alert their friends is now located in a totally new app, called Swarm.  Guests will be able to post status updates about their location and see who is nearby from that application.

The Foursquare app, on the other hand, is now focused on creating a customized experience for guests to find new venues in their local areas. The “tips” section will take greater prominence – which means Foursquare should become an important part of your reputation management strategy. But if you are just starting out and don’t have many tips, good news — the new Foursquare also allows business owners to write their own tips. It’ll show up in its own dedicated section separate from guest reviews. You can also post specials, like Happy Hours, in this area. Incidentally, if you use Fishbowl’s Local Email solution, you can post your mailings directly to Foursquare’s tips section now.

The new Foursquare app also introduces guest “tastes” to the equation. For example, if a guest tells Foursquare it loves locations with outdoor seating, every time he logs in Foursquare will flag nearby restaurants with patios. This information is pulled from the tips, both ones you write yourself and ones guests leave  – the more guests rave about your fabulous patio, the more likely Foursquare will automatically identify your restaurant as a hotspot for those that love eating al fresco, and the more likely Foursquare users will have your restaurant pointed out to them. From there guests can make reservations through OpenTable, order takeout, or simply review a restaurant’s information.

 

What Does That Mean for My Place?

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When it comes to check-ins, you don’t have to do anything. Swarm and Foursquare will interact seamlessly, meaning guests can still “check in” through Foursquare and receive any offers you have available through Swarm. However, if you have any specials or benefits for location “mayors,” you should know that Swarm only lets friends compete among themselves for mayorship. That means there are now multiple mayors among different groups of people, making it a far less unique title. Adjust your marketing accordingly. The number of “mayors” could be quite high now.

It’s also important to make sure, as the new Foursquare app takes over, that your restaurant has a vibrant list of “tastes.” If a guest is specifically looking for lunch on a patio, you’ll want to make sure they can find you by the “outdoor seating” taste! Follow these steps for maximum impact on Foursquare:

  • Make sure your restaurant is listed under all relevant categories — this includes very general goals like finding a great lunch, coffee, or nightlife hotspot.
  • Write tips filled with descriptive keywords, such as popular menu items, your bottomless brunch, or signature cocktails. Look at tips your guests have already left to see what they focus on; Foursquare will pay more attention to keywords they see repeatedly.
  • Update your tips section periodically with news, events, new menu items, etc: they will feature prominently on your page every time a guest looks at your restaurant in Foursquare. If you haven’t already, add a special. It’ll be the first thing guests see, and a great deal will be far more likely to drive guests into your place!

 

 

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