Official promotions roll out across FourSquare

As I am sure anyone with an iPhone is currently aware, the latest darling of the social app scene is a little location based game called FourSquare. FourSquare allows a user to “check in” to locations and through doing so you can become the ‘Mayor’ (most frequent check-in’s in a designated period) and earn ‘badges’ for completing certain combination of check-in’s.

There has been a lot of conversation around the potential use of FourSquare by local businesses but until today the only Sydney based use I had seen was a cafe that gave a free coffee to the “Mayor.” However earlier this morning I was visiting Sydney creative agency Lowe Sydney and when I went to check in I was presented with an interesting little tab in the top right corner (fig. 1)

Step 1
Fig. 1

When you select this tab you are then taken to a promotion screen for a local business (in this instance the Baroque Bistro Patisserie) and you are presented with the opportunity to earn a gift if you check in 3 times. (Fig. 2)

Step 2
Fig. 2

This is a brilliant use of location based data to target users and bring a point of difference to a business. While FourSquare doesn’t have a large enough user base to work as a reach medium, it is perfect for small businesses working to increase their repeat business. Were I in area and assuming that Baroque do reasonable food and drinks this incentive offer could very well be the differentiator in where I go to get my morning coffee, after all if their coffee is just as good as the next place why wouldn’t I go there and get a free French Macaron.

From a glance it appears that the process of implementing one of these specials is a reasonably straight forward matter of filling out an online form.

The one feature I would really love to see added to the promotion page would be a ‘tell your friends’ feature, so that even if you’re not checking in there, you could push a ‘shout’ to your friends via FourSquare/Twitter/Facebook and share the promotion with others who might find it interesting.

I personally will be paying very close attention to see what kind of traction this gains with Australian businesses.



11 Responses to Official promotions roll out across FourSquare

  1. Hi Joel – Thanks for the post on this I was playing around with this last week and I think it not only targets on geo but businesses with common check ins.

    In my example I was only able to set off the offer with a venue with check ins in common. Mag Nation –> Sensory Lab but not other venues around.

  2. The ‘online form’ to do one of these specials is just a google doc form? Not clear on who owns it? Do we know it’s four square behind it?

    • joelyrighteous says:

      The form is accessed via the ‘Business’ page on the FourSquare website and makes no reference to any third parties receiving your data, so it certainly appears to be FourSquare doing it themselves.


  3. sod1 says:

    A free macaroon?!

  4. philipchallis says:

    I would bet that the Free Frensh Macaron is not free unless they get a significant take up from this method of marketing.

  5. philipchallis says:

    There is no such thing as a free lunch and Bisto’s are generally sufferring in today’s economy as going out to dine is one of the first things to cut back on.


  6. Kelly says:

    You are correct in thinking the Macaroon is not free at Baroque!

    In fact this is a real issue with FourSquare and hopefully not a sign of things to come.

    Upon my first check in at Baroque some weeks ago (where I buy my coffee daily), it was a nice surprise to see the offer of the free macaroon. When I bought this to the owners attention (whom I have gotten to know all 3 of them) they were most surprised and certain that they were not responsible for this offer.

    An example of experiencing how this does work well is when I last entered my hairdresser and ‘checked in’ at I was pleasantly surprised to be served up the offer of 20% of a certain brand of hair products that I like and then went on to buy at the discounted price. This offer was added by the owner, Steve.

    I took to Foursquare very quickly and I use it daily however I am starting to tire of it quickly as some people seem to be so hell bent to reach the top of the leaderboard that they are now ‘Checking in’ at home to watch TV. How sad. Enjoy it – don’t choke it!

  7. Yep, good pick up…you can actually find the entire list of Australian Foursquare Specials here…

    Enjoy…and support them!!

  8. Josiah Rener says:

    Thank you very much for this awesome article. I’ve read id a couple of months now and maybe they are always very informative. Thanks!

  9. Thanks to you for this awesome article. I’ve read id a couple of months now plus they are always very informative. Thanks!

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