Foursquare for business – hospitality industry cashing in!

Foursquare – ok, so we all know that this social media platform allows us to share where we are at any point in time. Ok, got that. Personally I have no desire to do so, however people seem to jumping on board this one.

But how active are Foursquare users?

  • 98.59% – checked in at least once
  • 93.97% – checked into 10 different venues
  • 79.20% – checked into 25 different venues
  • 57.41% – checked into 50 different venues
  • 77.38% – checked into 30 or more times in a month

This is very high usage of an online service. (Thanks Social Media News for the stats!)

However how many people out there can attest to:

a) knowing what Foursquare is

b) knowing it’s popular and growing

c) have no idea how to apply Foursquare to business?

My hand was up for all of the above.

Until the other week.  I recently took myself along to a fantastic lunch time training session with Jonathan Nguyen from Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence on how to use Foursquare for business – a session which very quickly gave my Foursquare ignorance the boot.

Having learnt about what it takes to be a mayor – well done Brian Giesen on becoming the mayor of the Harbor Bridge! – what a badge is and how to set up and redeem a special, I feel like I have a better understanding of what this Foursquare world is all about – Foursquare novice I know!  So now I know the basics, I’m keen to get stuck into finding out how us comms folk can apply this social media platform for business.  


Hence why this post caught my eye this morning – ’10 examples of businesses in Australia already using Foursquare for marketing’ by John Johnston.  The hospitality is very much profiting from this social media phenomenon, with the Foursquare user often just a walk around the corner away from a great deal. John Johnston put forward these great examples of businesses offering consumers just that – the opportunity to bag a deal through Foursquare!  

  • VIVO Café in Sydney (the George St location) is offering a free coffee with your meal when you check–in. VIVO is currently inviting people to unlock the Foursquare ‘Swarm’ Badge at the a VIVO Cafe Swarm event, with five dollars of the fifteen dollar cost of a specific meal going to the Sydney Community Foundation.
  • The Wagamama chain of restaurants offers a Foursquare special that consists of a complimentary miso soup with every main meal, for every fifth check–in. If you’re the Foursquare Mayor you get a free juice with any main meal.
  • Curve Cafe + Bar at Vibe Hotel (also at their other venues, including Melbourne) for every second checkin is offering a “buy a drink and get a drink for a friend” deal, plus if you’re the Foursquare mayor you receive a “buy one get one free meal”.
  • Grill’d restaurants in both Melbourne and Sydney are offering a free Mini Chips with a burger or steak sandwich purchase. If you’re the mayor you get a free burger on Fridays.
  • Melt Bar in Kings Cross, Sydney is offering a “Staff price round of drinks on your 3rd check in”. And just along the road a bit, BurgerFuel is also offering a “buy one, get one free” offer, if you check–in with Foursquare and you bring a friend along.

Have of read of John’s post for more great examples.

What are some great deals you’ve come across in your Foursquare venturing? If you have any other great tips on how to apply Foursquare to business, please feel free to share your insights!

Gemma Crowley

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