Marketing your business with Foursquare

Foursquare Stickers for Local Businesses

Ten years into this 21st Century marketing has undergone major changes to keep up with the times. The development of social media makes marketing a lot more interesting. Businesses are becoming less “corporate” and more “personal” by communicating with their customers in more personal ways. Twitter is being used to reach out to customers to answer questions, take orders, promote specials/discounts, share tips, post updates, provide customer service, and even finding new employees to fill open positions. Foursquare, with more than 2.4 million users, is proving to be another valuable social media resource, and though many are still trying to figure out exactly how to use it for their specific business, there are some very impressive success stories.

By providing people with the opportunity to “check in” to their current location, Foursquare helps users connect with nearby friends, share information/tips about the location with other users, and gather points/honors to brag about and—in certain cases—redeem rewards. To encourage repeat customers, many Foursquare-active businesses are offering freebies or specials after a certain number of “check ins.”

Alissa White is the owner of online retailer, Matcha Source of Los Angeles; she recently opened a pop-up store in Manhattan selling Matcha tea. She can attest to the value of the increasingly popular location-based social networking apps, specifically Foursquare. She has been active on the usual social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter), but the biggest success came from her use of a newer one, Foursquare. White offered a free cup of green tea to anybody who “checked in” and left a tip or feedback on Foursquare. This generated more new visitors and repeat customers, as well as tips submitted about her store on the social app.

Get the full story: Getting Customers to ‘Check In’ With Foursquare.

There are so many ways small businesses can take advantage of these free or low-cost services, but it is left to them to figure out how to make it work for their company. The key is to be creative and understand the networks and how people use each one. Not only will businesses be able to take advantage of Foursquare and not suffer financially, they also won’t have to sacrifice much time to use it effectively.

Foursquare has a big advantage over Facebook: Foursquare has users “check in” each and every time they visit a business (which leads to more visibility and activity), while Facebook is a one-time “like” of a particular business.

Another unique way businesses are using Foursquare is by holding events at their store or restaurant. For example, if more than 50 people are “checked in” to a certain location, each person earns a coveted “swarm” badge.

Check out the article: Restaurant Owner Increases Sales by 110% with Foursquare Swarm Badge Party.

6 Foursquare Marketing Tips to get your business started.

Some other apps to check out that could help you keep up with the new world of marketing: Gowalla, Whrrl, Brightkite, Yelp, WeReward

Get “Smart” With Apps at Your Next Event

Apps for Tradeshow

There are many apps (and other valuable resources) to use while exhibiting at a trade show in order to increase brand/company awareness, drive traffic to your booth, and have some fun. The list is long and growing every day.

First, there are the information-exchanging apps:

  • Bump– If two people have Bump, all they need to do is lightly bump their hands together (while holding phones) to automatically exchange whatever info they choose.
  • Business Card Reader (iPhone only)Allows you to take a picture of a business card, which is automatically added to your contacts (our company president, Francine, can attest to how well this app works).
  • GoogleGoggles (Android only)– Allows you to do the same thing as Business Card Reader along with many other great features.
  • iLeads (iPhone)– Allows you to collect contact info from the attendees you meet at the show. All you do is type in the person’s badge number and their info will be automatically added to your iPhone. From there you can manage appointments with useful features that include calendar, map, notes, and so on.
  • ScanLife Allows you to create QR (quick response) codes, which are like visual bookmarks. ScanLife lets users take a picture of the two-dimensional bar code which can directly take them to your website or social media page and adds your contact info right onto their phone or whatever else you choose to link to. This seems to be the best QR code app as far as compatibility with multiple phone manufacturers, but here is a list of other good QR code apps.
  • Continue reading “Get “Smart” With Apps at Your Next Event”

The Do’s and Don’t of Social Media for Business

I found this great diagram “The Do’s and Don’t of Social Media for Business” from David Steel‘s blog. Steel is one of the nation’s leading experts on the topic of Sales and Social Media. Here’s a link to his blog, which contains lots of useful info and tips, along with some more great diagrams like the one below:

He has seemed to cover it all with just one picture. The very basic and necessary “do’s” to start you social media marketing: a plan, goal, strong network, consistency, and listening to your followers. And the “don’ts” that should always be avoided: being pushy, spamming, and constantly trying to sell.

Free Marketing to Grow Your Business

It’s a common perception that in order to make money you must first spend money. And even though often times this is true, we have found a few ways around it. Here are some tips that will help you market your company for no cost at all!

Network– you’ve heard it before, networking is essential to business growth. Everywhere you go is a potential networking opportunity, which means free marketing for yourself as well as your business. Think outside the box and try new places. Look on under conferences, learning, organizations, or any other categories for upcoming events in your area.

A great place to start is by volunteering. Not only will you be giving back to the community (which should, of course, be the number one reason for doing it) but you will also be meeting new people, which could lead to valuable business connections. Check out for local volunteer opportunities.

Use Social Media Sites– there are so many free social networking sites full of people looking to build business connections, just like you. Facebook and Twitter are good, but LinkedIn is a business networking website that declares its “mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” Check out these sites to get the most out of LinkedIn for your business:

Top 5 Ways to Market Your Business with LinkedIn
33 Way to Use LinkedIn for Business

Be an Expert– write a blog on your topic of expertise, comment on other blogs, and volunteer to be a speaker to get you and your business out there. A really great way to generate publicity is to become a media source for reporters. There is a very useful website that will match you up with a reporter

Other free/low-cost opportunities

Do you have any free marketing tips?

Twitter is Changing the World!

It was announced on June 3rd that Mayor Bloomberg is looking for a chief digital officer” for New York City.  The position would be responsible for communicating messages and also listening to residents on social media networks. The job pays between $57,000-$125,000, and the job description states that the city seeks someone “to help develop forward-thinking policies on social media, digital communications, web 2.0 initiatives and other tools to better serve the public.”

I think this is a great idea and wouldn’t be surprised if many other cities followed NYC’s lead.  I myself have become so much more informed since joining Twitter.  News networks and businesses across the globe are on Twitter, getting heard by significantly more people—many of whom have not picked up a newspaper in months.  As evidenced in the poll, 52% of people voted Twitter as their primary news source, while only 22% voted newspapers.  It is remarkable the way Twitter has changed the world.  Twitter provides quick updates on breaking news from numerous sources as well as constant word-of-mouth relays, which possibly makes Twitter the best news source ever.

How has Twitter changed your world?

Social Media: The Essential Trade Show Marketing Tool

If your trade show marketing hasn’t changed recently, now is the time to do it. Technology has opened up networks of communication that allow us to stay in constant contact with virtually everyone, including customers, manufacturers, clients, and prospects. If you are not active on social media networks, you are out of touch with a huge segment of the population. Don’t be left out; use social media marketing to the best of advantage, specifically when promoting your company’s upcoming trade show event.

First, if you have yet to create an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, a blog site, or any other social media platforms, do so immediately:

  • Build a strong following (include clients, suppliers, colleagues, and fans)
  • Post often to keep your followers interested and updated
  • Include tips you may have, upcoming events, and anything else you think might interest your followers

Once you have done this, you are ready to start pre-show marketing:

  • Keep track of your upcoming trade shows
  • Write a blog about the upcoming show a few weeks preceding the event. In the post, be sure to include information about your product or services
  • Attract visitors by introducing new products or offering incentives, deals, prizes, etc.
  • Provide pictures or videos from past trade shows so that people know what to expect
  • Start posting reminders and notifications about a week before the event

There’s an interesting article written by Eric Lukazewski on ESAB North America’s effective tradeshow marketing strategy. It illustrates how important social media marketing is, even in the least expected industries. Make sure you are capitalizing on reaching people beyond the show floor. Face-to-face interaction is one of the most valuable business tools, so do your best to draw more visitors to your booth with the use of social media marketing.

Click Here To View The Article.

Next month we will be discussing using social media at the trade show and as a tool for effective lead follow-up.