Just a few shopping days until the big day. I’m sure like me you’ve been standing in a lineup. What do you do with those minutes? Me, out comes my iPhone and I go exploring on Foursquare. Are you and your business to be found there?

Second only to Google Places, it’s an excellent local tool to find out what’s nearby and whether it’s worth trying them out. You can have fun, and get useful tips and upgrades by checking into local businesses on Foursquare. The more check-ins, the more points awarded, and the more badges you earn – meaning the higher your ranking. Which can lead to the ultimate accolade – becoming the Mayor of that destination. (You become “Mayor” by logging more check-ins than anyone else at that location – a coffee shop for example). We’re all competitive at heart which makes this a fun but useful application. You can add new connections through your social networks and keep track of their travels and scores as well.

You can register your business at http://www.foursquare.com then share details of your services and offer incentives to encourage customer loyalty. (They confirm your registration by mail – inside the envelope is a pin # which you must use to complete registration). Using GPS your phone knows exactly where you are and you can benefit from local intelligence. Writing reviews for businesses is fairly new Foursquare. It’s a very powerful endorsement – make sure you read well!

Locally, Chevron gas stations with White Spot Triple-O restaurants have been offering  a combo upgrade for the mayor of their locations – free fries and root beer with your burger as a reward for your loyalty. Get the idea? You can also link your check-ins to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to let your friends & followers know where you are and what you’re up to. I have mine also linked to Instagram. So with the posting of a picture I can cover off three Social networks with one update.

One of my favorite coffee stops is the Watershed Arts Café in Langley, BC, where I meet many of my new clients. It’ a chance for me to promote their amazing home baking and for colleagues in the local area to drop in and connect with me or use my trusted endorsements for themselves. Did you know that 76% of social media users will trust a personal endorsement whereas only 14% will trust an advertisement? I often leave tips where ever I am, they’re picked up by countless people afterwards. Trust me – it works!

I would recommend you register and start using Foursquare yourself. First, register your business – then check in and post a photo. If you have trouble getting started, askl a couple of your customers what you’re up to and ask them to help by posting tips about your business – so that others who are nearby can benefit too. Start a competition to see becomes your first Mayor, and promote it on your website, blog and e-newsletters.

Let’s connect https://foursquare.com/jdgem (Try and beat my score if you can!!)

Jonathan

Chief Imagination Officer at We Make Stuff Happen
Jonathan Christian is the creator of We Make Stuff Happen, a unique Canadian based Consulting Agency, helping businesses and non-profits internationally tell their story online and on land. Over the years, Jonathan has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs helping them learn and leverage their story with massive success.

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