Foursquare’s Marketing Ideas Never End


Foursquare’s addition of the Local Updates feature last week has made me start keeping a watch on the network’s advertising capabilities and opportunities.  Their new advertising functionality surprised me, because their Local Updates proved to be something that could really benefit people in the marketing universe. Today, my constant watch has proven to be worth while, as Foursquare has yet again released a potentially valuable tool for advertisers. Local Updates did great things for advertisers and businesses, allowing them to keep followers up to date with their goings on. Now, Foursquare has come out with a way for advertisers to keep even those that don’t follow their businesses up to date with their newest happenings.

The newest announcement at Foursquare that should have advertisers excited is called Promoted Updates. Foursquare explains in their blog, “Promoted updates are just like the local updates that you see in your friends tab, except that businesses can pay to promote them in our Explore results. The update can be a money-saving special, an update on a new fashion line, or a photo of their latest dish.” With Foursquare’s Explore feature being its most popular, advertisers now have an even bigger opportunity than they received last week. Plus, they add more to the network for users as well, making it a win/win situation. With users benefitting from this new feature just as much as advertisers, we’re bound to see some significant success with it in the future.

In their blog, Foursquare compare’s the new feature to Google’s Promoted Results. There’s good reason too, for with Google’s Promoted Results, people see links to businesses or pages that pertain to what they are searching for. With Foursquare’s Promoted Updates, when users search for a specific product or business, related updates from related businesses will appear in the results. So, as you can see, the new feature is pretty similar to one of the more successful advertising strategies from what may be the most successful name in internet marketing. That said, it’s hard to see how it could be in any way unsuccessful.

“The algorithms that power Explore’s personalized recommendations are the same ones we use to figure out which updates are perfect for you. For example, promoted updates might include places that are on your lists, places your friends have been to or liked, or places you’d likely want to check out given the time of day or neighborhood you’re in.” Although Foursquare is speaking directly to users with this quote, it provides interesting information for those using the Promoted Updates for marketing purposes as well. The new updates will allow advertisers to use Foursquare’s personalized recommendations to market locally to those who will more likely be interested in the advertisements.

The new Promoted Updates are already being used by a number of local and nationwide brands and businesses. Today, businesses like Best Buy, Gap, Hilton, and JCPenney are already trusting Foursquare’s methods. It’s not a brand new method, but with the way the network works, the method could turn similarly successful results.

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