For about a year now, the blogosphere has been abuzz about the virtues and possibilities of Foursquare. For those of you who are still unacquainted with the social networking app and how it can be used in your business, here is a brief primer.


Foursquare is a neat social networking application that allows you to broadcast your location to your friends. It uses your phone’s GPS to identify your physical location, which it sends to Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter friends. It is also a game of sorts which awards points and prizes to frequent users. Tech-savvy business owners have been increasingly implementing Foursquare to promote their businesses.

Like Twitter and Facebook, Foursquare offers free exposure to an unlimited number of potential customers. Every time users visit a particular business, they can “check in” to Foursquare, advertising their location and the business. As of October 2010, Foursquare has more than 4 million users throughout the world.

Unlike Facebook, Foursquare encourages users to repeatedly mention businesses. Some businesses prompt Foursquare plugs by rewarding users with free gifts after a predetermined number of check-ins. Others promise freebies to customers who check in and add a public recommendation for the business. That recommendation pops up when friends use Foursquare within the vicinity of the business.

Since March 2010, Foursquare has allowed small businesses to arrange special offers and view the number of check-ins to their business. At least 10,000 merchants have taken advantage of the technology.

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