While there are a couple of different ways brands and business can promote themselves through the new foursquare gallery of brands, it’s rather clunky in this day when one has to download and excel spreadsheet and manually fill it out as a self-service tool.
Don’t get me wrong, I love foursquare and what it does for business. Why not wait for the for the real roll-out? Does it have be this difficult?
Foursquare Pages and Partner Badges
Foursquare Pages are your custom homepage on foursquare, the epicenter of all brand engagement. Your fans can “follow” your Page (similar to on Twitter), allowing them to see Tips you’ve left around the world. Your Page can be customized to include your brand imagery, links to other websites, and can be located at a custom URL for your brand (“www.foursquare.com/yourbrand”).
Creating a Page
We’re currently building an online tool that will allow you to create a brand Page on your own, but, at the moment, we’re making them all manually at the request of partners. If you’re interested, please download this form and follow the instructions at the top. Because this is a manual process and there’s a pretty large influx of brands looking to participate, it may take us as long as two weeks to get back to you after you complete the form and send us all of the required assets. Huge apologies in advance, and we’ll have that self-service tool ready soon.
After your Page is set up, you can start leaving Tips for your followers. A foursquare Tip is a nugget of information tied to a location. Every brand has a unique area of expertise associated with real-world experiences, and Tips are your way to communicate those to your followers. When one of your followers checks in nearby, your Tip will pop up on their screen.
Tips can be added to a venue on the web or on a mobile device, simply by navigating to that location on foursquare.
There are a ton of cool ways to use Tips:
- The New York Times guided their foursquare followers to the best spots to visit while in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
- The History Channel used Tips to leave historical factoids around the country in advance of its America: The Story of Us miniseries.
- Zagat offers expert advice on restaurants reviewed in their guides.
- Windows Live Photo Gallery helped their followers locate the best spots in their cities to take photos.
- Havaianas directed their followers to the best local spots to watch World Cup games, where they shared soccer trivia and gave away free flip-flops.
- TravelOK.com helps their users unlock Oklahoma’s best-kept secrets, find discounts and discover hidden attractions throughout the state.
Some handy guidelines:
- Tips should be interesting, clever, and worthwhile nuggets of information (like a tweet) tied to a specific location.
- Tips can be actionable: Go here. Order this. Ask for extra of that.
- Good tips share insider info, like specific dishes, drinks, or secret details. Bad tips are just descriptions of what a user can see themselves.
Users also save Tips they’re interested in doing in the future to their foursquare To-Do List. To-Dos are like bookmarks for the real-world, presented as a reminder to that user every time they’re close to that Tip.
Users will see your Tips after they choose to follow you on foursquare. They do this by visiting your Page and clicking on the huge orange button that says ‘Follow.’ After following you, they see your Tips when they’re anywhere nearby. In addition, users who don’t follow you can see your Tip when they check in to that specific location.
The most successful brands on foursquare are those who integrate foursquare into their general communications, encouraging people to follow them on foursquare and engaging the foursquare community.
Foursquare users love unlocking badges when they accomplish something. It’s a fun reward for going out and doing interesting things, like performing your civic duty, staying in shape or seeing the world. The team at foursquare has created dozens of badges, and recently introduced Partner Badges, which allow brands to offer badges directly to their followers on foursquare.
Partner Badges are fun rewards for exploration, but tied to your objectives as a brand.
- Zagat awards badges to users who frequent Zagat rated restaurants.
- Lucky Magazine gives them to those who checked in to recommended fashion boutiques.
- Toys’R’Us created a badge to reward loyal holiday shoppers with Black Friday discounts.
- CNN supported a healthy lifestyle with a Healthy Eater badge for users that checked in to farmers markets.
- Project Red created social buzz for World’s Aid Day with a (RED) badge.
We currently are piloting these Partner Badges with select brands. We choose from the partners whose proposed badges meet the following criteria:
- Earned reward. People should be excited to earn your badge. The badge alone isn’t the reward; it’s the journey that your followers took culminating in “unlocking” your badge that counts most. Unlocking a badge should create a ping of delight and accomplishment in your followers!
- Do it again. Unlocking badges should reward a behavior pattern from your customers, not just one action. Getting a badge just for showing up is too easy to be fulfilling.
- Relevant to lots of followers. Your badge should be unlockable by a wide audience; it should appeal to users in Kansas and California, not just New York or Paris. After all, Partner Badges are only available to your followers.
- Plan ahead. Badges take time. From a technical perspective, we need a considerable amount of time to get a good badge into the system.
If you feel like you have a great idea for a Partner Badge on foursquare that you want to pitch, please fill out this form. We closely review every submission that comes in, but due to the high volume of inquires we apologize in advance that we cannot service every request. If your Badge proposal is a strong fit for foursquare, we will get back to you within two weeks.
We hope these tools help you build a deeper connection with your customers!