Staff Writer: Katrina Pallop
Date: July 26
There is some groundbreaking new technology coming from the social media world! Foursquare, a popular used to update your social circle about your whereabouts, now allows businesses to reach repeat customers directly with updates of their own. This service is automatic and borrows heavily from the realm of web SEO service.
Foursquare Local Updates, the new technology in question, lets small businesses deliver news updates and other media to customers within the city in which they operate. These updates, which are automatic, are then delivered straight to customers who have recently “checked in” or “liked” the business on Facebook.
Several businesses, large and small, have expressed an interest in this new technology, including H&M, Outback Steakhouse, Luke’s Lobster, Northern Spy Food Company, and Wolfgang Puck. The tool itself is free for these merchants. The updates in question will appear in search results, just as with web SEO service, when customers are looking for a place in the area of the company at hand.
On the merchant’s end, it will be possible to oversee the content and success of the updates with a dashboard tool, which has been designed to allow business owners a wide-reaching view of data on individual or groups of businesses. Michael Boland, a local media research analyst, says that the evolution of the dashboard with keep boosting Foursquare’s popularity among customers and marketers alike; giving it a head start on companies like Twitter and Google AdWords.
“Foursquare is faced with the challenge that many online and mobile pure plays in the local space are faced with,” says Boland. “It has to rely on businesses signing up for and managing campaigns on their own. The challenge in the small business marketplace is that a lot of small businesses are not particularly technically savvy or might not have the time.”
Also, the notion of paying for links and additional traffic is not a logical move for marketers and business owners. Rather, it makes more sense for them to market their specials directly to the consumers. No other company, besides Foursquare, has caught onto this fact or been able to put it to use in such a direct way.
“They will go there, but right now,” he says, “we’re seeing a lot of companies building tools around Twitter for small businesses to use,” he says. “On Twitter, you have to be more savvy to take the multi-purpose tool that Twitter is and craft it as a small business tool.”
Foursquare’s new features, including its innovative new dashboard, are straightforward but durable. This new feature is just the latest improvement to the website, which is undergoing a huge redesigning. One of the things that changes about Foursquare with these renovation is the prominence of the Explore Tab technology. This encourages users to move beyond their usual rounds of internet use and discover new things.