It isn’t really that often that you’ll read something in marketing news that pertains directly and specifically to small business. Sure, it’s good to read what’s happening in the world of advertising with other companies and big advertising gurus, but if you’re a small business owner just trying to run a successful business, I’m sure the world of advertising can get a bit overwhelming. I mean, even for everyday consumers, the copious advertisements that they see daily can be a bit much, making for confusion about what product is best. However, today I have a bit of information that small businesses and small business marketers can get excited about.
The social network of choice for small businesses has become Foursquare, because it gives them a place to put their name locally, where it really counts. The network creates many return customers, and also allows small businesses to grow a good local reputation. Now, according to the Foursquare blog, they’ve added a new feature that allows for businesses to reach out to anyone who has liked their business on the network or anyone who has checked in multiple times at a business. “Starting today, you’ll start seeing updates in your friends tab from the places where you’re a loyal customer. It’s an easy way to keep up with news from places you frequent, including things like new specials, pictures of the latest shipment of shoes, or a serendipitous food truck appearance.” Foursquare is hopping on the social media marketing bandwagon in a way, making it a useful tool for business marketing.
The feature is called “Local Updates,” cleverly enough, and it allows businesses to send text or images to loyal customers, allowing them to share with others. Essentially, the ideal course of action would be for loyal customers to have more motivation to tell their friends about the business, sort of encouraging word of mouth marketing. Also, whenever a Foursquare user finds a business in the Explore feature, the updates will appear within the business’s profile. It’s like a notification system that allows businesses to keep users up to date with the happenings of the business, whether they are customers already, or potential future customers. Users have the option of receiving these updates from businesses, and if they don’t want to receive them anymore, they simply opt out of them with one tap. Although Foursquare isn’t really a great marketing tool for big business, small businesses can really benefit from the new “Local Updates.”
“If you manage a place on foursquare, this will all be available to you later this week (for free!). We’ve also hit a pretty amazing milestone – there are nearly 1,000,000 businesses claimed on foursquare.” There are about one million businesses already using Foursquare, and they believe that number will grow. The fact that the feature is free is what makes it even more exciting, making it a very effective marketing method for small business, especially since there are 20,000,000 Foursquare users worldwide. Local Updates will create an effective and affordable way for small businesses to market themselves to large groups of potential customers.