It is a quote applicable to many things, one of which is making the best use of social media within your restaurant’s marking efforts.


We occasionally come across clients who seem surprised they’ve been having difficulty getting traction with a promotion on one of their social media platforms. That is particularly true with Foursquare. Owners will be confused as to why a promotion they’ve connected to a check-in isn’t generating the kind of interest they’d hoped for.


Here’s the cold, hard truth: just because you are on Foursquare and have an offer out there doesn’t necessarily mean you’re effectively harnessing the service. Leaving the same “dead deal” on the table isn’t going to get you anywhere.


The phrase “Build it and they will come” will not get you anywhere with online promotion.


The most important factor when considering a Foursquare is self-awareness.


Who are you? What do you do well? Why do customers frequent your establishment? If you are primarily a watering h***, offering a big discount off a large food tab probably won’t get you anywhere. If you’re a spot for hot wings, a soup/salad special is probably not going to move the meter.


You are intimately familiar with what patrons love best about you. So try and give the Foursquare user a taste of what keeps those regulars coming back.


If you put a deal out there and see unlocked items that aren’t being redeemed, or deals that are viewed but not unlocked, think about making tweaks to the offer or playing around with a different idea. It’s possible that users in your area aren’t interested in that particular special. Sometimes the issue is that an offer isn’t lucrative enough to attract attention. Make sure to ask yourself “What’s in it for me?” since that is exactly the criteria customers will use to decide whether to check-in or unlock.


Also, make sure to take advantage of the built-in (and free) tracking ability of Foursquare. Foursquare has a “Merchant Dashboard” which gives you information that includes the number of check-in during a given period, your most frequent visitors and a gender breakdown of your customers.


You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t monitor how the promotion is resonating.


A business must work hard to make a special work, as customers who claim deals are likely to report their experience to friends. The beauty of the digital age is that we are almost always provided the ability to pivot very quickly.


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Comment by Ivan Collins on December 7, 2011 at 8:08am

We have a loyalty program on Reservation Genie that uses some of the philosophies of Foursquare.  You earn points for reservations, we offer a leaderboard of the customers with the top 10 point totals and those users become VIPs and get perks when they book while on the VIP leaderboard.  Points last 60 days so new people are constantly being cycled into the system. Clients are so concerned they're going to give too much away that they end up adding something boring like a complimentary dessert or presecco.  First of all, only certain people eat dessert and you're missing a percentage of customers based on that.  Second of all, we all know dessert costs $3 a slice and presecco is $5 a bottle.   Comes across as cheap.  We think they should offer 20% off the check...these are your 10 most loyal customers...treat them well!




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