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Marketing With Foursquare & Nearby Offers

Headed into a meeting in Minneapolis I decided to check in on Foursquare as I walked into the Fifth Street Towers. Foursquare is a social game and mobile application that lets users “check-in” from where they are eating, shopping or visiting. Based on your check-in frequency you can earn points, badges, alert your friends and more. It’s gaining popularity and hitting new areas like Des Moines.

Upon checking in I quickly noticed the “special nearby” alert on my iPhone.


The nearby offer feature is a great way for a business to introduce itself to a new customer and motivate them to stop in.  Bars, restaurants or stores that are near other attractions could easily sway a few more wallets into their business by using this and at the very least increase their exposure.

As with many offers though, the Restaurant Max offer was weak. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet so a decent lunch special might have swayed me into their place.

Only offering a Birthday Special isn’t going to appeal to very many customers.  This offer limits their opportunity to engage with someone to one week out of the year.  The offer does seem to have a big dollar value with a free bottle of wine, but they could really benefit from something more general or even by changing their offer during lunch times and dinner times (if possible).


As others have noted, there is marketing potential in Foursquare.  With social, game, mobile and loyalty marketing elements mixed together, it’s one more way a business can create an opportunity with a consumer already in their area.

In the end though, it still hinges on how strong the motivation is with your offer. Have you ran across a great Foursquare offer?

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