Foursquare business marketing is taking off as one of the latest trends in social media and networking. While Foursquare, with only 10 million users in the United States, is not the most popular of the networking sites available, its unique user interface has made it one of the best for local marketing to a young, web savvy audience. If that describes your client base and you're part of a law firm in an urban area, you need this guide. You'll learn seven lessons about Foursquare business marketing that can make your law firm's popularity on Foursquare skyrocket.
Lesson #1: Get Involved With Foursquare Individually First
Before you decide to use Foursquare for business, you should first try getting an individual account. This will help you understand how other companies are doing their Foursquare business marketing so that you can optimize your strategies.
One of the first things that you'll find out is that Foursquare isn't equally popular in all areas of the United States. For example, if you are working in a small town in North Dakota, you may be hard pressed to find more than a few other Foursquare users locally, and the users who are there may not actually be very active in tagging or checking into locations.
On the other hand, if your law firm is located in Brooklyn or San Jose, you're in a lot of luck. There are many Foursquare users in trendy and technologically developed areas, and Foursquare business marketing plans tend to work great in these areas. If you're intending to use Foursquare for business somewhere outside of a large metropolitan area, you may have an uphill climb—that's why it's better to check it out individually first, before you invest your business's time and money into the effort.
Lesson #2: Maximize Foursquare Business SEO
In addition to the traffic that you'll get from using Foursquare for business, you can also use Foursquare to improve your search engine optimization. Most SEO tactics today are oriented around bringing in new inbound links, the number of which will influence your rankings in Google search by more than any other one factor.
When you build your initial profile on Foursquare for business owners, you'll be able to include a link back to your website. It's a good idea to make this link go to a landing page rather than directly to your homepage, so that it's targeted directly toward Foursquare's customer base and can be more easily tracked for analytics purposes. Every new inbound link that you build through your Foursquare business marketing will help your website climb a small amount in search rankings for any keywords found on your web pages.
Lesson #3: Foursquare For Business = Promotions and Discounts
Part of Foursquare business marketing involves being able to make promotional rates and discounts available, either to all Foursquare customers or to customers who are loyal and check in at your place of business a certain number of times. While loyalty rewards may not work particularly well for attorneys, you can still use Foursquare for business promotions like free consultations or discounted rates.
Keep in mind that people who use Foursquare tend to be more connected and more trusted by their friends as sources for product and service reviews than the average internet user. This means that you're more likely not only to gain repeat business when you use Foursquare for business marketing, but also business from friends, colleagues, neighbors, and relatives of the user.
Lesson #4: Use Social Media Plus Foursquare For Business
If you aren't getting enough inbound links from your Foursquare business marketing strategies, consider linking your user account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. This makes sure that your check-ins are recorded via social networks, and also allows you to create more links for yourself.
Combining social media inbound links with your Foursquare for business links will maximize the number of high quality links coming into your site. In turn, this makes Google less likely to penalize your site if you begin to be linked by lower quality websites—a valuable insurance policy in uncertain times.
Lesson #5: Check Ethical Guidelines
Before you start using Foursquare for business, it's a good idea to confirm with your state bar association that there are no statewide rules in your state that bar you from being able to use the app for marketing purposes. Usually, your bar association will be able to give you some guidelines that will help you understand what kinds of advertising are and are not allowed when using Foursquare business marketing. For example, it will always be prohibited to share any information about privileged information via Foursquare, even if it is only indirectly given out.
Lesson #6: Support Charities Through Foursquare For Business
If you want to support a particular charity during the holidays or at any time of year, a great way to tie your Foursquare business marketing campaign into charitable donations is to donate money for every check-in. Foursquare for business actually streamlines this and makes it quite easy to donate money to charity for every user who promotes your law firm or checks in at your location.
This kind of promotion can help get new people through your doors and will also help you to advertise your own charitable reputation in your community. Since reputation is key for service businesses like law firms, this kind of charitable contribution may actually enhance your ability to solicit new business and make connections with new clients.
Lesson #7: Use Relevant Geotagging
Let's say you're an education lawyer specializing in helping students get needed accommodations through 504 plans and IEPs. You could add “geotagging” for your law firm to schools and tutoring centers in your area—this makes it so that when people check in at those locations, they'll see your advertisements for your legal services. Geotagging only works if some venue is actually connected to your field of expertise in some way. Attorneys who take all types of cases will be much less successful at finding good venues for geotagging.