What is Foursquare?
Foursquare is a service available for GPS-enabled Smartphone that allows you to check in at different venues and locations you are visiting. It’s a location-based service. It has evolved itself as a very addictive form of game that lets you earn points for every new location that you’re checking in, which in turn unlocks different badges. The players or users are encouraged to gain more points and badges to become the Mayor of the city. This is also where the Business aspect of the game comes in, when you check into a location you can leave Tips about the venue and services for everyone to see them. These can act as simple feedback, positive or negative which in turn will act as a mouth-to-word advertisement. The service is also having a social-network aspect that you can easily broadcast your position to your friends; moreover you can also integrate your Twitter and Facebook accounts also.
How to Join Foursquare?
Joining Foursquare is very simple procedures simply open their website foursquare.com and there you will find Join Now, click on it and fill in the required details, and you are all set and good to go.
What are the devices supported?
Foursquare supports a wide array of devices running on various platforms. You can easily download apps for BlackBerry, Android, Palm OS, iPhone, Symbian and many more from their website itself.
What to do Next after Joining
Joining Foursquare won’t make a sense unless you are having your friends and colleagues to follow your suggestions. So to truly enjoy this service you should invite your friends to join this. Once you have a good friend circle that follows you, you can very well enjoy the social-network aspect and share “Tips” with your friends. Since Foursquare rewards you for things you do and places you visit it’s not a good idea to keep adding random users as friends as it will do no good as there aren’t any rewards for the number of people you are connected to. Remember it’s all about sharing your experience with your friends.
Unlike other social-networks like Facebook and Twitter you shouldn’t add random users to your profile. As I’ve mentioned earlier the idea is all about sharing your experience with your friends, and not counting them. The main reason why we say you should avoid adding random users is that with Foursquare app installed on your device and you sharing your GPS location with your friends, they will be able to see your location unless you adjust your privacy settings. Therefore be careful about the information you are sharing and moreover with whom you are sharing it.
What more can I do with Foursquare
Well recently an Astronaut checked into his foursquare account form Space to become the mayor of Moon, but surely you can also do more with your feet still on the ground. Here’s a list of things that are popular on Foursquare
Organize Meet up And Parties
Foursquare offers you much more than just points and badges for visiting different places, you can even send invites to your friends via simple text SMS or ‘shouts’ as they would like to call it. You can use these shouts to stay connected to friends or to invite them for a party or meet up at place that you are visiting.
Sharing views and review about places
Foursquare helps you share ‘Tips’ about a place that you are visiting with your friends. When you check into a place that has been earlier visited by your friend you will see pop-ups about the tips and reviews that your friends have to share about the place. These reviews are far more effective and true than a review printed on a pamphlet or a website, as these are mostly by the real people who have really experienced that thing.
Growing your Small business
Mouth-to-word is perhaps way to spread a notion about a place or its services. While Mouth-to-word reviews are often very epidemic and spread viral, foursquare helps you create one for you own business. If you happen to be the owner of a restaurant, marketing official, or any such thing related with advertising your services foursquare can be used. It can help you build visitor loyalty by offering the Mayor (the most frequent user with highest number of check in) some sort of special discounts or something similar. You may also extend the offer to other users by offering them more offers on foursquare to promote your business.
How to optimize foursquare for a better Experience
Here are a few tips to manage Foursquare better.
Control the Notifications
At times when running Foursquare from a Smartphone you will receive push notifications, which are free of charge without any SMS cost being involved, which can be about anything like a shout or a Tip. But if you feel offended by these then you can configure it at foursquare.com/manage_friends. There you have options to either completely turn off the notifications or get a daily digest.