How to become a local legend using Foursquare

Foursquare is rocketing up the social media popularity chart. It’s hyper-local social networking that lets you share insider info on your favourite hangouts. In their words:

Foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so. We do this by combining our friend-finder and social city guide elements with game mechanics – our users earn points, win mayorships and unlock badges for trying new places and revisiting old favorites.

The service allows you to check into a location – coffee shop, restaurant, movie cinema – using your GPS coordinates. That lets your friends know where you are and what you’re up to. It’s a great way to meet new friends who enjoy the same places.

Foursquare users are encouraged to share brief tips about the places they visit. These experiences are then shared with others who check-in to the same place. For example, if I leave a tip about a special blend of coffee at The Imp, the next time you checked-in there Foursquare would pop up a notification telling you that I suggested you try The Imp’s special blend coffee.

Here’s a few tips for agents wanting to get the most out of the service.

Get an iPhone and download the Foursquare app

Foursquare works brilliantly on the iPhone and on Android powered mobile devices. It’s a two-second operation to get working on the iPhone and it works like a charm.

Link your Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook accounts

It’s not often I recommend linking social media services but this is one exception. Once your accounts are linked when you check in on Foursquare your Facebook and Twitter status will be updated automatically (you can turn this off if you want to do a private checkin).

Add your own business location to Foursquare

Provide clients who check-in to your location regularly with loyalty rewards. Offer incentives for people to write tips that mention you by name e.g. “Go to Jones Realty and ask for Sally Jones. She knows Jonesville like the back of her hand.” It’s a great way to generate word-of-mouth referrals.

Check-in to a local coffee lounge

Invite your friends to catch up for an early morning coffee. Be spontaneous.

Introduce it to local businesses

The more people who check into a location the more tips it generates. Suggest they offer discounts or special offers to Foursquare users who write tips about their business or who become the Mayor of their business. Offer to show them how it works and how they can make sales from using the service. Become their social software go-to person. Help them out by introducing their business to your Facebook and Twitter network.

Check-in when you’re doing a home open

Let your friends on Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter know you’re out working hard. Your Foursquare checkin provides a map to your location so friends in the area can stop by for a chat.

Advertise that the property is open for review on Foursquare

Mention in your web advertising that you’ve added the property location to Foursquare. Invite home open visitors to write a review. Their review will be available to other Foursquare users.

Ask your colleagues to check-in when they show the property

Get them to add a brief review while they’re at the property on an agent caravan or when showing buyers.

Have you come across any other ways to use Foursquare?

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About Peter Fletcher

Speaker, trainer, and consultant helping real estate agents sort out their online communication strategy.

@peterfletcher - Google+

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