Foursquare is quickly becoming a popular social networking tool, that can be easily integrated with other social media – including Twitter and Facebook.
Small businesses, especially those with food outlets, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, are also realising the huge potential Foursquare has for helping them engage further with their customers and building a loyal following. Starbucks has been one of the first big businesses to jump on board, but other businesses can too.
With the continued growth of Foursquare, the development of plugins and applications has only really just begun. If you visit Foursquare’s website, there are currently only 4 plugins available for the moment. However I am sure this is just the beginning and new plugins will be developed shortly. Here’s a little bit about those 4:
1. Joomla Foursquare Checkins History
This plugin allows you to publish your Foursquare check-ins history on your Joomla website. I’m not so sure whether this plugin is a good idea. I guess it’s only for people who aren’t too concerned about their privacy, and are happy to show everybody on their website exactly where they have been checking in.
2. The “Turn Social” bar
This is a plugin which is exactly for a small business in the hopitality or attractions arena. It displays customer’s tips and mayorships directly on your website. It shows your customers checking in, vying for the mayorship, and commenting on your business.
This is my favourite plugin currently available for Foursquare, and it seems like a great idea for a small business website. But of course, you cannot just install the plugin and hope for the floods of people to come and check in. You would need to create a Foursquare strategy into your Marketing Plan, to embrace the potential of Foursquare and make sure everyone in your business, dealing with customers, understands this. Or else it could work against you.
3. 4SQ Badges on Facebook
Show off your Foursquare badges on your Facebook profile! Add the Foursquare Badges Facebook application to your profile to impress your friends and fans with your Foursquare fortitude.
This plugin could be a good idea, if you are a fan of Facebook, and engage very socially with your Facebook friends. You would need to keep in mind that each time you check-in ALL your friends would see it. If this idea appeals to your “social” mind, then this plugin might work for you.
The plugin currently has 4,125 users, and 346 fans of the application.
4. Foursquare WordPress Plugin
Publish your foursquare history on your WordPress blog. I think this one falls into the category of the same issue with the Joomla plugin – it’s only for people who are completely happy to share their location to everyone, on their website. On the official website, I noticed the creator is generating some interest with 40 retweets of the plugin, and 43 comments below.
I’m not sure about the business benefits though of having a plugin like this on your WordPress website, but I’m open to suggestions.