Foursquare is currently the #1 source for geolocation based social search, after beating out several competitors. With 10 million users so far in the United States and a rapidly growing user base, Foursquare has received a lot of attention from marketing blogs. In this guide, you'll learn what Foursquare blog writers have said about the app and how it's being used in 2012. Every blog about Foursquare has a different perspective, and some of those perspectives may be biased. We'll try to strip away some of that bias to look at major trends through the eye of Foursquare blog writers.
Foursquare's Biggest Change: More Local Search
One of the biggest things that Foursquare blog writers are talking about in 2012 is a brand new feature. In October of 2012, every blog about Foursquare erupted with the news: Foursquare would no longer just allow its local search results to be open to users who were making use of the app and check in procedures.
Instead, Foursquare has decided to market itself in a wider way—a way that has made Foursquare blog writers very happy and that puts it into competition with bigger social media empires, like Yelp and Google+ Local. Anyone can now look at Foursquare's local search results, regardless of whether they have registered with the service or not. According to nearly every blog about Foursquare, this is a major development.
With the new focus on providing local search to all users, Foursquare has decided to position itself as a social media leader. Not every blog about Foursquare is convinced that this expansion is a good idea. Some Foursquare blog writers believe that this additional competition will cause Foursquare to lose sight of its original mission and stop catering to the audience that made the site popular in the first place.
Foursquare's Major User Expansion
One of the things that nearly every Foursquare blog agrees on is that local search will mean a big expansion to a service that already has been growing at a very rapid rate. When they blog about Foursquare today, many writers have mentioned that the traditionally very young user base of Foursquare is going to be giving way to older users as the service expands.
This is very good news for attorneys and legal marketing professionals. If it's possible to reach older segments of the consumer market, as many Foursquare blog writers now claim, then it's much easier for lawyers to actually get to their target market.
Another discussion going on in more than one blog about Foursquare expansion is the geographic expansion of the service. While Foursquare started in New York (and many Foursquare blog writers originally felt it would never be successful outside of the city), today's Foursquare offers a huge number of badges in places from Manhattan to Ghana.
Foursquare Eclipses the Competition
Foursquare blog writers had a huge moment in early 2012, when Gowalla, its biggest competitor, announced that it would be shutting down operations permanently. It seemed like every blog about Foursquare wanted to analyze the differences between the two services, so that they could figure out lessons about having a successful social geolocation based service.
Today, Foursquare has over 20 million subscribers worldwide, and most Foursquare blog writers believe that number will continue growing for the foreseeable future. At this point, most writers who blog about Foursquare will tell you that it's now the only geolocation based social networking service that your business needs to use.
Fewer Games and Badges, More Tips and Search
While the Foursquare blog world started by talking about check ins and badges, today's Foursquare users are changing. As they change, each blog about Foursquare is starting to realize that users no longer care as much about earning badges. This was primarily a focus of the early adopter group of Foursquare users.
Today's users aren't necessarily social media hounds, though many of them are. Blog writers who blog about Foursquare now emphasize the necessity of promotions and providing information. Businesspeople who don't offer promotions, discounts, or up to date information about their business are likely to find themselves without many new clients from Foursquare—even if they try to play the kind of social games that Foursquare marketers were successful with at first.
The Usefulness of Geo-Fencing Tactics
One of the most innovative aspects of Foursquare in 2012 is the ability to geo-fence. According to writers who blog about Foursquare, geo-fencing is a new technique that allows you to draw an invisible “fence” around a particular locational perimeter. After this fence is drawn, you can create promotions that will pop up for any Foursquare users who are inside of your perimeter.
This can be very useful for targeting people who are already very close to your law offices. You may also, if your practice involves working closely with another type of business, want to target locations around that business with your geo-fence. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your advertising is being displayed to the exact people who are most likely to be able to take action as a response to seeing the ad.
Using Your Blog and Foursquare Together
Don't neglect to combine some of your social media experiences. By using your blog and Foursquare in combination, you can advertise discounts and specials two different ways and reach different audiences. Blog audiences tend to be slightly older, in general, than Foursquare, and blogs are more likely to attract other professionals and fellow attorneys.
Your blog and Foursquare can work symbiotically, each helping to promote the other. For example, you can promote your law blog using Foursquare tips and responses. What's more, you can also make sure that potential clients know that you have updated your business information on Foursquare, and you can ask former and current clients to help you by providing positive Foursquare tips regarding your legal practice.