Home  › Marketing › Local
checkin-image

Foursquare Local Updates Competes with Google, Twitter

  |  July 18, 2012   |  Comments

Automatic updating service lets businesses target repeat customers.

checkin-imageA new automatic updating service from Foursquare lets businesses target repeat customers with news, specials and deals.

Foursquare Local Updates let merchants send text, photos and Specials to customers who have either checked into a business several times or liked it on Foursquare. The updates will be shown to customers when they're in the city where that business is located. The new function will begin rolling out this week.

According to Foursquare, brands including H&M, Luke's Lobster, Togo's Sandwiches, Outback Steakhouse, Northern Spy Food Company and Wolfgang Puck plan to use the updates feature. The tool is free to merchants.

Merchant updates also will appear in search results when consumers search for a place in the Foursquare mobile app or on the web. Merchants can manage updates from the merchant dashboard, which has been redesigned to let business owners and marketers view data on individual business locations or a group of locations.

Analyst for local media research firm BIA/Kelsey, Mike Boland, said the dashboard's evolution will continue to give Foursquare a leg up on competition from Twitter and Google AdWords.

northernspy-image

"Foursquare is faced with the challenge that many online and mobile pure plays in the local space are faced with," he told ClickZ. "It has to rely on businesses signing up for and managing campaigns on their own. The challenge in the small business marketplace is that a lot of small businesses are not technically savvy or might not have the time." In addition, he said, the concept of buying clicks doesn't make as much sense to merchants as pushing out Specials does.

Neither has Twitter created tools to let merchants easily manage communications with customers, Boland said. "They will go there, but right now, we're seeing a lot of third-party companies building tools around Twitter for small businesses to use. On Twitter, you have to be more savvy to take the general-purpose tool that Twitter is and craft it as a small business tool."

Boland thinks Foursquare's dashboard is "simple enough for small business but robust enough, too."

The new offering follows last month's redesign of the Foursquare user interface which now gives more prominence to the Explore tab. Boland said that the company continues to move its consumer model from search to discovery.

He said, "The discovery concept is conducive to local mobile user behavior: There's less search happening; people want to discover things around them. This model will let businesses use the Foursquare platform to deliver commercial messages that aren't obtrusive as pure advertising. They'll start to charge for the merchant dashboard in different ways, and one way will be to let merchants target offers to people around them in a cost-per-action model. That will be the basis for how [Foursquare will] start to monetize."

Also today, Microsoft announced that it has integrated Foursquare into Bing search results. Searchers in the United States will begin to see public tips from Foursquare users in the "People Who Know" section in the sidebar.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Kuchinskas

Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...