Recent Foursquare Updates for Location Based Marketers & Brands

BY: KEVIN PLANOVSKY Aug 16th, 2012

Visit to Foursquare for Location Based Marketing Strategy

Last month, we had the opportunity to visit Foursquare’s NYC offices as part of our collaboration with one of our clients to claim their 4,500+ venues globally. To say we are “ridiculously pumped out of our minds” about the changes the top location based social network made last month would be an understatement. Here is the breakdown:

New Admin Structure for Brand Pages:
Many of Foursquare’s updates will be very familiar to you. Some, like the new admin system, are very similar to Facebook’s layout. The new admin system allows companies and brands to delegate users as an admin of their page. This way, multiple people are able to manage a page and can easily switch from their user account to a manager account. If the user hovers over their profile name in the top right hand corner of the screen, a drop down menu will enable them to choose what account they would like to switch to.

Vert’s Take: Finally! With so many different organizational structures, stakeholders, and (in the case of physical locations) local operators in the LBS game – this is music to our ears. Smarter management of brands & venues will allow marketers to customize the way they leverage the platform’s new tools.

Brand Updates & Messaging:
Brands can now send local updates to their loyal customers. You can either send out a message, a picture or a special/offer that your company is offering (or, of course, a combo of any). These updates will send out to three different locations on Foursquare: 1) when people view your location they will see the update on your feed, 2) in your loyal customers’ friends tab, and 3) when people check into your location they will see your update on the check-in summary page. Users also now have the option of ‘liking’ your brand, it’s venue(s) and update(s).

Vert’s Take: It’s all about the activity & news feeds. This tool moves us beyond the check-in and starts the true dialogue between brand/venue and customer. Facebook is the feed of your friends, Twitter is the feed of info/media, and Foursquare has become the feed of “here & now”. This new “free” option for marketers makes it a no brainer for any brick & mortar business, period.

Promoted Updates:
Foursquare has rolled out promoted updates, much like Facebook’s promoted posts and Twitter’s promoted tweets. Building off of Local Updates, where users received notifications about businesses they frequent, Promoted Updates allows users to receive updates about businesses they are near. These ads will show up under the “Explore” tab where users can see what locations are around them. However, they will only show up if the user is near a business that is paying for the ads and if the ad is relevant to the users’ taste.

Vert’s Take: A paid product was inevitable. However, marketers need to be smart… For example, a discounted hotel room probably won’t make as much sense for this as would a rooftop bar special. ALso, since Foursquare is also taking users’ relevancy into consideration then the ads will be optimized to people who may be more receptive based on time/location.

Which of these tools do you think are going to win out, and how might you plan to use them in your marketing programs?


Kevin Planovsky

Kevin Planovsky

As Co-Founder and Principal at Vert, Kevin leads all aspects of client service + business strategy, as well as agency marketing and growth. His wife, baby girl Lucy, three dogs, and a cat live in Atlanta’s Historic West End and all love old architecture, veggies and traveling.