Tag Archives: Small Business Tips

Top 5 Foursquare Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses

29 May

Here’s what not to do as you embark on your Foursquare marketing endeavors.

1. Creating a Complicated Special

There’s no fun in trying to unlock a special that is nearly impossible to unlock. Try to keep it simple. The purpose of Foursquare’s merchant platform is to bridge the gap between customers and merchants, and a high barrier to entry could easily turn users off. There are seven kinds of specials to choose from, depending on whether you’re targeting new customers, encouraging people to come back multiple times or wanting to reward the mayor (your most loyal Foursquare customer).

Foursquare enables businesses to activate a special only on certain days or during certain times, or they can reward people for every nth checkin, regardless of what time or day it happens. “Receive a free cupcake on your fifth checkin” or “10% off your bill on Tuesdays” are good examples of simple rewards.

Specials can provide discounts, a few bucks off or a free item. If you’re worried about margins, you can offer a special that doesn’t affect your bottom line — maybe users will get to shop during special hours at your shop. Alternatively, you can post videos of your most active Foursquare users on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Eric Friedman, Foursquare’s director of business development, says the best kind of specials are those that make people feel special and provide them with something they couldn’t get as a regular consumer.

Also, remember to set an end-date for your campaign if it’s a limited-time offer and use the fine print if there are exclusions to your special.

2. Not Training Staff



You never want someone to redeem a special and show it to your staff, only to be looked at with googly eyes. Be sure your team is prepared and can recognize a Foursquare special and offer the redemption. Once you create a special, Foursquare provides flyers for you to print — one for employees, and one for customers — to build awareness for the product and make sure everyone is on the same page.

If you add a new special or change your current one, be sure to alert the team so they can answer any Foursquare-related questions.

3. Not Using Foursquare’s Dashboard



The Foursquare dashboard is full of useful information. Merchants can see what times people are checking in, in addition to details on the gender and age breakdown of those users. Businesses can use this information to craft a special to lure people to their venues during slow periods.

Only about 25% of Foursquare users send checkins to Twitter or Facebook, so logging in to the dashboard allows you to see who your most frequent and most recent Foursquare checkins are. This is helpful for businesses and gives them an inside look at their customers, while also proving contact information — such as their Twitter handles — if a user provided it when signing up. The Twitter handle can be used for one-on-one outreach, which will make your customers feel special and appreciated (and hopefully not creeped out).

4. Giving Away Too Much Product Via Specials

Just like on Groupon, there is a point at which your margins could be affected in such a way that you could be losing money. If you’re a cupcake shop, you might not to be able to afford giving away a free cupcake with each checkin. That’s fine, just get more creative and offer a more exclusive special. Perhaps you can do a loyalty special so that people get a reward — a free cupcake — on every third or fourth visit. That way, they’re incentivized to come back, so you’re encouraging and rewarding loyalty with delayed gratification.

5. Not Advertising That You’re a Foursquare Merchant



People might not be inclined to check in if they don’t know there’s a reward, so be sure to put the window clings (which Foursquare sends you when you create a special) on display. Setting up a special also guarantees that your business is shown in the “specials nearby” tab when people open the Foursquare app in the vicinity of your business.

The bottom line is that there are nearly 10 million people on Foursquare. Some might be more inclined to try your business — and keep coming back — if they know there’s an incentive on Foursquare. Therefore, not publicizing your special can be a huge missed opportunity.


5 Tips for Creating Share-Worthy B2B Email Content

4 Mar

Just because your B2B email recipients are business contacts doesn’t mean your email content can’t be interesting enough to start conversations and generate social shares. If you can create share-worthy B2B email content, you can generate additional brand awareness and boost your potential for lead acquisition and sales. By encouraging your recipients to share your engaging content, you get your message in front of a new audience.

Creating share-worthy content could require a shift in how you assemble the content for your email campaigns. Here’s some tips that may help you with this approach.

1. Start a conversation
Craft the content in your email to read like a conversation. End the email content by asking a question or encouraging feedback in your social channels and providing links for readers to do so.

2. Share conversations from your social channels
Include content from your social channels in your B2B emails. Show tweets where your brand is mentioned. Share blog post comments or Facebook posts and replies. Then invite recipients to join the conversation.

3. Create content people want to share
Content formatted in certain ways can lead to more social sharing. Create lists of tips or best practices, announce industry events, provide solutions to common problems and highlight important industry news. Helping people do their job better or understand what is happening in their industry will lead to more social sharing.

4. Enable sharing of multimedia content
Providing links to your videos, podcasts or other interactive content is becoming more common- even in B2B emails. Many marketers just link directly to the content and don’t consider making it shareable. If the point of your multimedia content is to create interest or provide valuable information, then providing social sharing links for it will only help you maximize its value.

5. Recap your most popular social content
Include a list of your “best of” content from your social channels. Include your most popular blog posts, your most re-tweeted tweets or your most commented Facebook posts. Whatever people find interesting in your social channels will likely spark the interest of your email recipients, so including popular social content in your emails can create additional interest and social shares.

As you make your B2B emails more shareable, be sure not to overwhelm your recipients with too much copy or too many sharing options. If you need to, link long-form content to your web site and provide social sharing links there too. Consider which social channels will work best for the content you want readers to share and ask for it to be shared in those channels. And be sure to track your social sharing links and mentions so you can analyze the results and determine what content is most interesting to your email audience.

Keeping your B2B email content interesting and sharable can not only help you reach your marketing goals, but also create a more enjoyable and engaging experience for your recipients. If you have any other ideas, tips or success stories with social sharing in B2B emails, leave us a comment and let us know what worked for you.

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