Foursquare LogoFor everyone that has a smart phone, you should be using FourSquare. This service allows you to actually check in at locations and get specials and promotions at certain stores. It is a fun and interactive competition between you and your friends as well as a great marketing tool for any brick and mortar store. There are however, two things that Foursquare has to change before it takes off to be the next Facebook or Twitter.

I’ve been hearing and learning massive amounts of Foursquare over the past few months, but didn’t decide to take the plunge until my new iPhone 4 arrived. After getting my brand new phone, I downloaded Foursquare and haven’t stopped checking in yet.

I started out at an apartment complex and noticed that I could see 30 or 40 businesses, which is way too high for the little city that I live in. I also noticed that I could check into locations over a mile away and would still get points for the check in. Every now and then I would get a warning that I was too far away, but this occurred only a few times when I tried checking into locations over 500 meters away.

Bulls-eye on a TargetFoursquare has to cut down the distance to check in. I am currently the mayor of 6 locations, 4 of which I haven’t visited since starting Foursquare. In order for businesses to put their trust in the service, people really should have to be close to the location to check in. The whole point of location based social media is to drive in traffic to the actual location, not just near it.

The second thing: Foursquare needs more businesses to get involved. Only a few businesses, like Starbucks, offer people incentives for being the mayor or checking into their locations. If I am hungry and see on Foursquare that there is a deal near by, that business not only just won my business, but if the food tastes even half-way decent, they won a loyal customer.

Once businesses get more involved, offering people deals and incentives to come by, then Foursquare will succeed. Once I actually have to be in the physical location to check in, Foursqure will dominate. And finally, once you decide that you want your business to outdo all the rest, Foursquare will help you deliver.

If you need help developing a Foursquare strategy or social media marketing services, Big Leap is here to help.

Jamie Bates