HOW TO: Add Your Small Business to FourSquare
FourSquare has received quite a bit of buzz over the last few months. Some have even declared it to be the “Twitter of 2010“. I am not so sure about that, but it is fun. It is Different. Addictive. And as of last week, FourSquare has gone global.
Part social networking site, part smartphone App, and part social experiment, FourSquare is a tool meant to be primary used on the go on your smartphone. Quite simply, you “Check-in” to restaurants, movie theaters, retail stores, etc. while physically at the location and offer “Tips” and send out “Shouts”. All types of small businesses can and are already starting to add their physical location as “Venues” to FourSquare in order to show up in “Check-in” searches. More importantly, your customers are doing it for you!
Even if you never become a regular user of FourSquare, at the very least take 10 minutes and follow the steps below to add your business to FourSquare. I have already added numerous businesses. Trust me. You are going to want to be the one to add your own business.
I’ll be doing a couple more blog posts on FourSquare over the next month and the site will likely add a lot of new features in 2010 (I’m excited!), but right now let’s start with the basics:
1) Sign up for an individual profile on their website.
Don’t create a profile for your business. Create a profile for yourself. Sign up. Do not skip the option to upload a photo. You will not accrue “Badges” if you do not have a photo, nor will you become a “Mayor”. Do not use your logo. At this point, the power for businesses on FourSquare is in the individual profile.
Now, something very important. You must sync your FourSquare account with your business’s Twitter account to get a username [@NonprofitOrgs becomes www.foursquare.com/user/nonprofitorgs]. Please note that you can change Twitter accounts at a later date, thus your are not locked into a FourSquare username. This also hints at how fully integrated FourSquare will be with Twitter. Love that. Love Twitter.
2) Search for your business.
There is a 90% chance that your business is not going to come up in search results, thus select “Add Venue” and follow the steps below:
1. Enter the name of your business… correctly. Don’t enter in all lower case. For Example, “Moxie Cinema”.
2. Enter the address. FourSquare requests that you use abbreviations for streets and avenues. Cities should be spelled out. States and countries should be abbreviated in CAPS:
431 S. Jefferson Ave #108
Springfield, MO 65806
3. Enter your business’s Twitter ID.
4. Add the Tags “locally owned” and “green” and “socially responsible”, etc. as well as any other Tags relevant to your business. The default is that all Tags appear in lowercase. Very important: Add the city and state of your business as a Tag. It doesn’t make a difference in searches on the website version of FourSquare, but it does in the iPhone App version!
When the steps above are completed, here’s an example of a correctly added venue:
3) If you have a smartphone, download the FourSquare App and then Check-in to your business venue.
Foursquare is available for the iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm Pre. Download the App, Check-in, and then on the next day, Check-in again. At that point you become the “Mayor”. More Mayor strategies, To Dos, and Tips next week!