Top 5 Foursquare Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses

*This Post Orginally appeared on Mashable.

There are more than 9 million people on Foursquare, and there are 250,000 businesses that have claimed venues and use the location-based service as part of their overall marketing program. Foursquare is a free platform for merchants to use to engage and incentivize customers, but only if done right. Here’s what not to do as you embark on your Foursquare marketing endeavors.

Foursquare

1. Creating a Complicated Special

There’s no fun in trying to unlock a special that is nearly impossible to unlock. Try to keep it simple. The purpose of Foursquare’s merchant platform is to bridge the gap between customers and merchants, and a high barrier to entry could easily turn users off. There are seven kinds of specials to choose from, depending on whether you’re targeting new customers, encouraging people to come back multiple times or wanting to reward the mayor (your most loyal Foursquare customer).

Foursquare enables businesses to activate a special only on certain days or during certain times, or they can reward people for every nth checkin, regardless of what time or day it happens. “Receive a free cupcake on your fifth checkin” or “10% off your bill on Tuesdays” are good examples of simple rewards.

Specials can provide discounts, a few bucks off or a free item. If you’re worried about margins, you can offer a special that doesn’t affect your bottom line — maybe users will get to shop during special hours at your shop. Alternatively, you can post videos of your most active Foursquare users on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Eric Friedman, Foursquare’s director of business development, says the best kind of specials are those that make people feel special and provide them with something they couldn’t get as a regular consumer.

Also, remember to set an end-date for your campaign if it’s a limited-time offer and use the fine print if there are exclusions to your special.

 

2. Not Training Staff

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You never want someone to redeem a special and show it to your staff, only to be looked at with googly eyes. Be sure your team is prepared and can recognize a Foursquare special and offer the redemption. Once you create a special, Foursquare provides flyers for you to print — one for employees, and one for customers — to build awareness for the product and make sure everyone is on the same page.

If you add a new special or change your current one, be sure to alert the team so they can answer any Foursquare-related questions.

 

3. Not Using Foursquare’s Dashboard

Ll-ev-foursquare-stats

The Foursquare dashboard is full of useful information. Merchants can see what times people are checking in, in addition to details on the gender and age breakdown of those users. Businesses can use this information to craft a special to lure people to their venues during slow periods.

Only about 25% of Foursquare users send checkins to Twitter or Facebook, so logging in to the dashboard allows you to see who your most frequent and most recent Foursquare checkins are. This is helpful for businesses and gives them an inside look at their customers, while also proving contact information — such as their Twitter handles — if a user provided it when signing up. The Twitter handle can be used for one-on-one outreach, which will make your customers feel special and appreciated (and hopefully not creeped out).

 

4. Giving Away Too Much Product Via Specials

Just like on Groupon, there is a point at which your margins could be affected in such a way that you could be losing money. If you’re a cupcake shop, you might not to be able to afford giving away a free cupcake with each checkin. That’s fine, just get more creative and offer a more exclusive special. Perhaps you can do a loyalty special so that people get a reward — a free cupcake — on every third or fourth visit. That way, they’re incentivized to come back, so you’re encouraging and rewarding loyalty with delayed gratification.

 

5. Not Advertising That You’re a Foursquare Merchant

Clings

People might not be inclined to check in if they don’t know there’s a reward, so be sure to put the window clings (which Foursquare sends you when you create a special) on display. Setting up a special also guarantees that your business is shown in the “specials nearby” tab when people open the Foursquare app in the vicinity of your business.

The bottom line is that there are nearly 10 million people on Foursquare. Some might be more inclined to try your business — and keep coming back — if they know there’s an incentive on Foursquare. Therefore, not publicizing your special can be a huge missed opportunity.

[UPDATE 12/6/2011 – There are now 15 million people on Foursquare]

 

ARTICLE SOURCE: MASHABLE

 

Learn more about Foursquare from our Team!

 

About Sociallybuzz:
Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand
the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their walk-in consumers online. Sociallybuzz have over 50 experience social media/online account managers, that knows all social media and location based platforms inside and out, including tailoring specific verbiage and best practices.

The Sociallybuzz team consists of experienced Marketing Gurus, Social Media Strategist, Genius Product Developers, SEO Specialist and Account Managers with WOW customer service.

Check out our following services:

1) Social Media Services for Nightclubs

2) Social Media Servics for Franchises

3) Social Media Services for Restaurants

 

Advertisements

One in five smartphone users now check in via services like Facebook Places, and Foursquare, etc

Checking in to location-based services on a mobile phone is still not a mainstream activity, but adoption is increasing, especially among smartphone users—those most likely to use the apps that check-ins are typically tied to.

According to comScore, 7.1% of all mobile users and 17.6% of smartphone users accessed check-in services in March 2011.

Users of check-in services were more likely than the overall smartphone population to be female, under 35 years old and full-time students.

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Female smartphone users’ adoption of the check-in is somewhat surprising in light of research on mobile privacy and security, which has sometimes found women are more sensitive than men to disclosing personal information like their location. But both men and women have indicated privacy was a concern when it came to location-based apps.

Smartphone users who check in to location-based apps also indexed higher for participation in every other mobile activity studied by comScore. From overall browser and application usage to ad recall and mobile shopping activities, check-in service users are out in front of the general smartphone population. Check-in service users, for example, are 86% more likely to access mobile travel services than average smartphone users.

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Users of check-in services are an active group that spends enough time on mobile to see and remember marketing messages there. As uptake continues, that habit will develop in more of the mobile population. Currently, check-ins still skew young, with only a third of current users ages 35 and older, but if app developers and their marketing partners continue to reassure users about the risks and rewards of participation that landscape could change.

 

SOURCE: emarketer  

 

About Sociallybuzz:
Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their walk-in consumers online. Sociallybuzz have over 50 experience social media/online account managers, that knows all social media and location based platforms inside and out, including tailoring specific verbiage and best practices.

The Sociallybuzz team consists of experienced Marketing Gurus, Social Media Strategist, Genius Product Developers, SEO Specialist and Account Managers with WOW customer service.

Check out our following services:

1) Social Media Services for Nightclubs

2) Social Media Servics for Franchises

3) Social Media Services for Restaurants

Subway getting ready to go head to head with Starbucks and Mcdonald’s McCafe?

Subway tests café format

Us_wi_49982_subway_cafe_empire_building_milwaukee_wisconsinmain

Sandwich giant Subway is testing a more upscale format called Subway Café, which the company hopes will address the needs of franchisees looking to open in office buildings and other more high-end venues.

The test, which was launched by a Subway franchisee in an office building in Alexandria, Va., has expanded to about 15 locations, Les Winograd, a spokesman for the Milford, Conn.-based chain, said in an interview Monday. The company expects to add 10 more by the end of the year, he added.

“The landlord was looking for something more upscale and with more coffee choices in the building,” Winograd said.

The new concept is expected to help fuel Subway’s rapid growth. The chain said it has opened nearly 700 new outlets in 50 countries and 43 U.S. states since January and has plans to open a total of 2,000 North American locations this year.

Subway_cafe_1mainSubway_cafemainSubway_cafe_49982_4rtmain

While still in the early stages of development, the Subway Café is designed to be a cross between a sandwich concept and coffee bar and is “a little larger” than the average 1,200-square-foot Subway, he said.

In addition to the standard Subway breakfast and traditional menus, the café concept offers a variety of baked goods, hot and cold espresso drinks, coffee, hot and iced chai latte, hot chocolate and frozen blended beverages. Because the menu is somewhat more elaborate, operations will vary from standard Subway locations. The coffee would come from Seattle’s Best, which supplies coffee to Subway’s regular restaurants.

“Employees will need some specific training for the cafes,” Winograd said.

Winograd said the décor and signage for the café would be standardized, and would feature brick or wood paneled walls, more lounge-style seating with comfortable armchairs, and in some cases a fireplace. Lighting also would be different from standard Subway operations. He noted, however, that the design would remain flexible to allow for the development of the cafes in a variety of locations.

Subway has about 34600 stores in 98 countries.

SOURCE: NRN
Article written by Paul Frumkin of Nation’s Restaurant News

About Sociallybuzz:
Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their walk-in consumers online. Sociallybuzz have over 50 experience social media/online account managers, that knows all social media and location based platforms inside and out, including tailoring specific verbiage and best practices.

The Sociallybuzz team consists of experienced Marketing Gurus, Social Media Strategist, Genius Product Developers, SEO Specialist and Account Managers with WOW customer service.

Check out our following services:

1) Social Media Services for Nightclubs

2) Social Media Servics for Franchises

3) Social Media Services for Restaurants

The Demographics of Social Media [Infographics]

Ad Age Looks at the Users of the Major Social Sites.

 

Social-demos

Source: Ad Age

 

About Sociallybuzz:
Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their walk-in consumers online. Sociallybuzz have over 50 experience social media/online account managers, that knows all social media and location based platforms inside and out, including tailoring specific verbiage and best practices.

The Sociallybuzz team consists of experienced Marketing Gurus, Social Media Strategist, Genius Product Developers, SEO Specialist and Account Managers with WOW customer service.

Check out our following services:

1) Social Media Services for Nightclubs

2) Social Media Servics for Franchises

3) Social Media Services for Restaurants

Social Media Marketing and Campaigns showing ROI of a 1000 Percent

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Social media marketing is maturing.

Many organizations have already transitioned from a tactical to a strategic approach, and I’m hearing more and more reports about social media campaigns that are delivering solid, proven ROI.

Research results are beginning to reflect the shift, as well. For instance, the 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report from MarketingSherpa found that the overall average social media ROI reported by CMOs who are measuring it is a whopping 95 percent. What’s more, nearly one-third (30 percent) of those in the survey reported a ROI of at least 150 percent!

That’s a dramatic shift from MarketingSherpa’s first benchmarking report in 2009. Back then, soft objectives such as building customer awareness were key, and marketers said they were having a tough time demonstrating any ROI from social media, at all.

Plenty has changed in just a few short years.

For its latest report, MarketingSherpa polled 3,342 consumer and B2B marketers, giving us valuable insights about how they are using social media to engage audience, build brand, generate leads and drive sales. In other key findings, the data showed that:

Developing social media strategy and proving ROI remain top challenges. When survey participants were asked which were the most frustrating challenges to social marketing effectiveness, the top five responses were: developing an effective and methodical social marketing strategy (55 percent), achieving or increasing measurable ROI from social marketing programs (54 percent), converting social media members, follower, etc. into paying customers (45 percent), achieving or increasing measurable lead generation from social marketing (37 percent) and increasing website traffic through social media integration (36 percent).

For those who are measuring it, social media is showing positive ROI. Based on the survey results, The overall average ROI reported by CMOs who are measuring it is 95 percent. One-quarter said they have achieved 100 percent ROI. Higher percentages were reported, too. Twelve percent said they have achieved 200 percent ROI; two percent reported 1,000 percent ROI.

Unfortunately, many are still looking for that “quick fix.” MarketingSherpa did a nice job cross-tabulating response data to show that marketers who are new to social media tend to focus on “fast and easy” tactics (social sharing button on email/websites, e.g.) rather than on those that show a much higher level of effectiveness (blogger relations, SEO, e.g.). More advanced social media marketers work from a strategic plan and know that often the most difficult and time-consuming tactics are worth the extra effort because they are the most effective.

Social CRM is gaining momentum. Only six percent of those polled have fully implemented social customer relationship management (CRM), but more than half (56 percent) said their plan in either partially implemented or in the planning stage.

As the MarketingSherpa report illustrates, Web 2.0 and other collaborative technologies are well on their way to becoming fundamental components of the marketing mix. The goal, as always, is to create a memorable brand experience for consumers. Now, we’re fortunate to have a variety of exciting digital tactics to help us accomplish that task. Social media allows us to reach consumers in new ways, and what’s more, a number of innovative tools enable us to track responses to campaigns more easily than ever before. With the right tools, marketers can gain valuable insights to make campaigns ever more relevant, even as they demonstrate real ROI and enhance accountability in the boardroom.

 

Article Source: Lisa Arthur – Forbes

Image Resource: ViralBlog

 

About Sociallybuzz:
Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their walk-in consumers online. Sociallybuzz have over 50 experience social media/online account managers, that knows all social media and location based platforms inside and out, including tailoring specific verbiage and best practices.

The Sociallybuzz team consists of experienced Marketing Gurus, Social Media Strategist, Genius Product Developers, SEO Specialist and Account Managers with WOW customer service.

Check out our following services:

1) Social Media Services for Nightclubs

2) Social Media Servics for Franchises

3) Social Media Services for Restaurants

Facebook-Studio Live [The Photo Edition]

“Hack” Facebook Studio Live New York  held on Thursday, May 12, 2011.

Two things I won’t forget:

1) “SOCIAL BY DESIGN”

2) “THIS JOURNEY IS %1 FINISHED”

Here are the photos:

Imag0005Imag0003Imag0006Imag0002Imag0009Imag0004Imag0008Imag0010Imag0007

 

New Facebook Guide; Social Marketing Best Practices

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Facebook recently published a PDF document giving businesses a guide to best practices for marketing on the massive social networking site.

The 14-page document, titled “Best Practice Guide: Marketing on Facebook” serves as an official resource on how to take advantage of Facebook’s advertising products, social plugins, analytics and other tools to grow one’s business.

See it here:

What’s your take on this?

 

ARTICLE RESOURCE:

READWRITEWEB

 

About Sociallybuzz:
Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their walk-in consumers online. Sociallybuzz have over 50 experience social media/online account managers, that knows all social media and location based platforms inside and out, including tailoring specific verbiage and best practices.

The Sociallybuzz team consists of experienced Marketing Gurus, Social Media Strategist, Genius Product Developers, SEO Specialist and Account Managers with WOW customer service.

 

Check out our following services:

1) Social Media Services for Nightclubs

2) Social Media Servics for Franchises

3) Social Media Services for Restaurants

CHECK-IN DATA: THE REALITY BEHIND THE HYPE [INFOGRAPH]

According to a study commissioned by digital agency Beyond and exclusively shared with Mashable, those who use social location-based apps such as Foursquare or Facebook Places represent just 17% of the mobile population.

Of those opting out of participating in the checkin craze, or any other social location behavior for that matter, 48% cited privacy concerns as their primary reason for not doing so. And 50% were merely unable to do so because they did not have a smartphone.

The study uncovered some positive findings for the top brand names in social networking  (Facebook) and group buying (Groupon). Ninety percent of respondents actively using checkin applications indicated they use Facebook Places; 40% of those who have never checked in would consider sharing their location with Groupon.

More than half of mobile users who do use checkin apps (54%) said they are motivated to share their location when discounts are involved. Just 21%, however, said badges and status rewards motivated them to check in.

As for consumers not using checkin apps, 99% said they do not consider badges or status an incentive for sharing their location.

The message, at least in the digital agency’s not-so-objective opinion, is that brands do have an opportunity to develop geosocial strategies that reach consumers through Facebook and Groupon.

“The results of this study highlights the huge changes that will take place as social location apps move from niche to mass consumer,” says Beyond CEO David Hargreaves. “Brands that can develop ‘Glocal’ social media strategies, tap into the motivations of the mass consumer and leverage the reach of the Facebook and Groupon platforms will be the real leaders in this sector.”

Beyond, in partnership with the Social-Loco conference, surveyed a statically representative panel of 1,003 U.S. consumers during the week of April 18. Respondents were asked 21 questions designed to assess their familiarity with and usage of Facebook Places, Groupon, Living Social, Twitter’s location features, Yelp checkins, Foursquare, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Path, Instagram, Soundtracking and Aroundme.

The consumer pool’s responses were then compared against online buzz of social location-based apps, as measured by a random sample of 383 online conversations. Checkins and non-English updates were excluded from analysis.

Here are a few more stats pulled from the study:

  • Nineteen percent of mass consumers are motivated to check in to learn about the location.
  • Early adopters are more likely to check in at locations that sell food or drinks. The top places are restaurants (53%), coffee shops (40%), hotels (38%) and bars (36%).
  • Mass consumers check in most frequently at the homes of friends and family (35%) and restaurants (33%).

The study’s results are not all that surprising. We’ve known for some time that the percentage of the population willing to embrace checkins is quite small — just 4% according to the Pew Research Center — and that mobile users have a strong predilection for coupons over checkins.

The findings, though potentially accurate measurements, don’t reflect the maturation of the space or the impressive growth of the smaller social location-based startups pushing the envelope.

For more on the study’s finding, check out the infographic below (click to enlarge).

Social_loco_infographic

 

What’s your take on this?

 

ARTICLE SOURCE: MASHABLE

 

About Sociallybuzz:
Sociallybuzz is a social media management, marketing and advertising company, working with businesses and franchises to help them understand the importance of having a local social web presence and the values of having a great relationship with their walk-in consumers online. Sociallybuzz have over 50 experience social media/online account managers, that knows all social media and location based platforms inside and out, including tailoring specific verbiage and best practices.

The Sociallybuzz team consists of experienced Marketing Gurus, Social Media Strategist, Genius Product Developers, SEO Specialist and Account Managers with WOW customer service.

 

Check out our following services:

1) Social Media Services for Nightclubs

2) Social Media Servics for Franchises

3) Social Media Services for Restaurants