Foursquare recently made some updates to make it easier than ever to claim your business and to get started with your first Foursquare special.

If you already have a venue created, there should be text under your contact information that says "Are you the manager of this business"? Simply click on that link and it will take you to an easy, three-step process.

1) Confirm your business information - You just have to give them a contact url from your website or from other sites such as Yelp, Citysearch, or Google. Be sure you have a legit e-mail address or phone number where they can contact you.

2) Create your first special: Get creative! Provide an offer for the "Mayor" of your venue or setup a deal for any visitor. You can also specify a customer gets a deal if they check-in X amount of times. The sky is the limit!

3) Click Submit and you are finished! A Foursquare representative should get in contact with you to help you take ownership of your venue and get started with incentives for your customers!

All of this should take you about 5 minutes of less. No sweat! I posted a pic of what they process looks like.

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  • @Josh: It's exciting to think of the possibilities as business owners are able to shift their marketing spend towards direct interaction/engagement with the consumer, and away from 'old media' style campaigns. When that happens, it makes perfect sense to lavish product on SM super users, such as the Mayor of a Foursquare venue. Pretty cool!
  • Nate-

    I totally agree! I went to a Wow Bao here in Chicago on Foursquare Day and they offered some free food for checking in, then during dinner offered up to $10 worth of food for FREE for checking-in. These types of deals definitely get customers coming back for more. As a customer, I can say it works!
  • Michael -

    First off, no, restaurants are not required to offer any type of discounts or offers to customers. Since Foursquare is first and foremost a social media "game", the deals restaurants are starting to offer equate to rewards of "winning" a game - in this instance, becoming "Mayor" or checking in X amount of times.

    Great question! As far as fine dining goes, I would look at your clientele and see how they are using Foursquare. Try and speak with the Mayor of your restaurant or other names/faces you may recognize that have checked-in. I think it's perfectly okay to put your feelers out there and ask what your customers are wanting to get out of checking-in. You could consider giving the Mayor "seating privileges" when they make a reservation or something associated with valet parking (you'll pick up their tab?). I'm not familiar with your restaurant, but those come off the top of my head.

    On the other hand, many people are simply content with knowing they are "Mayor" of a given location. Sounds cheesy, but we are a competitive people. I hope this helps!
  • Does a restaurant have to actually offer coupons or comps to guests who use Foursquare, or is there some other way to utilize the service? For example, what if you are a fine dining establishment that does not offer specials/coupons/etc., are you able to jump into the 'Foursquare game' some other way?
  • Nice post. Yesterday was the first time that I went to a restaurant offering a Foursquare deal. I was the first person to show them that I'd even checked in. They were ecstatic... and they got a new loyal fan.

    Restaurants who jump on board early will definitely be reaping the benefits over those who are slow to adapt!
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