Check-in! You are now the Mayor! You have been Ousted as Mayor! You have achieved a Badge! What does that have to do with your business? Should you as a small business owner pay attention to geo-location tools like Foursquare?

Whether you own a chain of coffee restaurants in Seattle or a small bakery in Issaquah you are going to find a lot of your customers with smart phones. There are a growing number of customers itching to arrive at your business and check-in telling their friends they are there.

“P.C.C. Natural Markets, a Seattle-based organic foods company, saw a large number of new Foursquare users coming to its stores over the weekend and used the analytics tool to figure out where they were coming from.

“By using the Foursquare dashboard, we figured out that they were coming for a new organic doughnut that had been advertised on TV,” said Ricardo Rabago, social media specialist for the company.

Mr. Rabago hopes to use the new tool to figure out when people are coming for lunch and offer coupons and specials to entice them to return.” – Foursquare Introduces New Tools for Businesses, By Nick Bilton – The New York Times.

If you are a business owner having customers that love your business so much they don’t mind telling all their friends, social connections and even talk about you store is a luxury! First off all brick and mortar businesses should claim their business on Foursquare. Add in monitoring Foursquare to your other online listening efforts. See people checking into your business often? Check out their profile, read their reviews of businesses and reach out through Twitter to say “Thank you”. Acknowledge and show appreciation for their willingness to share about your business. That is the least you can do.

For the most part, people using Foursqaure and other geo-location tools are a special breed. These are the people that are highly likely to:

1. Engage with your business on other social media channels e.g Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums
2. Write reviews on Google Places, Yelp, and City Search
3. Spread news to their friends, family and social networks about your businesses events and news

Learn to listen to the conversations happening online about your business. To get started go to Foursquare, search for your business. Click on your listing and at the top right hand corner there is an orange ribbon – “Do you manage this venue? Claim here”.  Foursquare gives businesses a great dashboard of statistics help you better understand and get to know the people that check-in to your business.

Additional Links:
Foursquare + Your Business, by Foursquare
Location-based Services: The Hottest Segment in Social Media, by Social Media Today

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About the author

Lyndi Thompson wrote 114 articles on this blog.

Online startup marketing strategy & solutions. Customer focused, high energy, creative & thankful. I love connecting good people to create great communities. New Mom. Fan of chocolate & the smell of horses.