In January, FourSquare opened up the ability for business owners to create official brand pages to help them attract customers to deals, offers and available promotions. Or, at least they did if you were a major brand and could get through FourSquare’s strict manual review. Unfortunately, that excluded most people trying to get in on the action. Not good.
Under the manual system, small- and medium-sized business owners found themselves unable to play simply because their following wasn’t large enough. However, that all changed last week when FourSquare opened up Businesses Pages to everyone by making them “self-serve”. What does that mean? It means now if you want to create a brand page on FourSquare, you just have to go and create one. Sort of like how you do on every other social media site. 😉
Oddly enough, in order to create a brand page on FourSquare, you first must have a Twitter account. I’m not sure why FourSquare appears to be piggybacking of Twitter’s username system, but they are. If you don’t have a Twitter account for your small business, create one (really, you should have one anyway, even if you don’t plan to use it yet).
Twitter account created, you can head to FourSquare’s Create Your Page screen where you’ll be asked to connect your FourSquare account with your Twitter account. Hopefully you’ve selected a good Twitter username because that name will ALSO be used as your FourSquare URL. Why the heavy Twitter piggybacking? Again, I’m not sure. It seems odd to force users into signing up for another social network simply so they can use yours.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll have the option of connecting your business Facebook page (which actually makes more sense), but there’s no requirement to do so.
With the page created, FourSquare will automatically use your Twitter avatar as your FourSquare picture, but will give you the option to add your business name, phone number, email address, location, a banner image, etc. You’ll also be able to designate any business managers, set your privacy settings and decide what you want to be notified about and how.
With that out of the way, small business owners are encourage to leave five tips for the community to discover.
Once you do, you’ll be given the option to have your Page “featured” in the Page Gallery for some additional exposure. Make sure to leave your tips.
And that’s it! After you run through the steps, businesses can take advantage of some of the many practical small business uses for FourSquare that we’ve shared previously. While it’s not for everyone, FourSquare has shown itself to be popular way for small business owners to attract new customers by offering different types of specials and promotions to users visiting your location or who just happen to be in the area.
What are your thoughts on FourSquare? Will you create a brand page? Have creating FourSquare specials increased foot traffic to your business?
This definitely levels the playing field. But, adding specials is still an extra cost, is it not?
While having a uniform name on Twitter and Foursquare is a good idea it is weird that Foursquare is effectively forcing this on SMBs. It especially suck if you didn’t get your ideal Twitter handle and therefore end up with a less than perfect Foursquare URL.
I guess the lesson here is — you can’t lag the market so badly that you can’t get a decent username for your biz. I’m not taking any issue with your point, Robert. It sucks. But I see the Twitter authorization or Facebook authorization as a way to increase adoption and usage, right? I’m more likely to test a service that makes it easy for me to use the same login. I comment more on various blogs when I can authenticate with OpenID, LinkedIn, Google or Facebook… It saves me time and tells me a little bit about the app or company doing the development.
Where do I add a banner? I can’t see that anywhere on the settings page…all the rest is there (profile pix, name, etc…) but no banner???!!!