How to Set Up Your Business on Foursquare

by on Friday, December 10th, 2010

Foursquare for businessesWith the surge of Foursquare users over the past year many of them are looking for venue specials to sway their decision to visit new places. Businesses have much to gain with this free marketing tool. Being able to offer promotions to lure clients in this way is really becoming a game changer.

We worked with a local business Big City Bagels to assist in claiming ownership/management of their venue in Foursquare so that they could offer their own promotions. Not surprisingly, Foursquare has made the process incredible quick and easy for a business to manage their business venue with their web app. Seeing how simple it was we decided to outline the details of what to expect and also how to work with the management tools once you are set up. Foursquare has built a very quick and simple verification process. The entire process takes only a few minutes.

Venue Verification Process

Create a Foursquare account

Create a Foursquare account for your business entity. You will use this account to login and also confirm your business venue(s) as well as view traffic metrics.

Search for your venue

Search to see if a venue for your business already exists.

Claim venue

Claim venue

If it does, click on the venue then click the link in the orange banner in the upper-right corner “Do you manage this venue? Claim here”.

Add venue

If it doesn’t exist, then Add/Create your venue and then click on the venue. Next, click the link in the orange banner in the upper-right corner “Do you manage this venue? Claim here”

Confirm business information

Now you will begin the process to claim ownership management of the venue. You will:

  1. Confirm the business address
  2. Authorize that you can claim the venue
  3. Verify that you want to assign the newly created account to this venue
  4. Select whether it is one venue, a chain of less than 10 locations or a chain of 10 or more locations

Verify phone number

The last part of the business verification is that Foursquare will ask for your business phone number. They will attempt to match the number provided against a national business phone number database. The number must be a main office number. It cannot be a personal, home or mobile number, unless that number is the official number of the business.

Receive a call

Within a few minutes you will receive a call from an automated phone system that will provide a 4 digit code which you will then enter in the Foursquare “Verify” field. That will finish the verification process.

Create A Special

Now you can create your first special for your venue(s). If you aren’t sure of your special yet, you can skip this step. You will be able to come back to creating specials again, so there is no pressure to do it immediately.

Choose how the special will be unlocked

You can select from:

  • For the mayor
  • For any visitor for any number of checkins
  • Or when some other condition has been met

Special Offer message

Provide a message for special

This is the message that users will see when they view your venue(s). Be sure to be as specific as possible as to not create confusion or to confuse your employees. This is where you would provide a unique “coupon” code if necessary for the discount or special.

Tips for creating your special

  • Use specials to encourage first-time visitors or reward loyalty.
  • “Half off any entree on your first check-in!”
  • “Check in 10 times and your first drink is on us!”
  • “Free coffee for the mayor!”
  • Offer something that is only available to foursquare users (and mention it in your special).
  • Foursquare users love specials targeted specifically to them!
  • Avoid specials that are only available on certain dates.

Submit your special

Once you submit your special, Foursquare will review it. Once it has been approved, Foursquare says “you will receive an email explaining how to make this special live.” Although, in our experience, we never heard back from them. You will probably just want to check back in a couple days.

Check your special status

  1. Login to Foursquare
  2. View your profile
  3. Go to the blue box in the lower right corner “Employee of”
  4. Select your venue to access the venue admin
  5. Click the “Manage Specials” link to see the status of your special(s)

Venue Admin Options

Once logged in to the venue admin (see list just above) you will have access to a few fun things.

Venue Info

This is what users see. You can see general venue info

  • Address
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Map
  • Tips
  • Mayor
  • Staff

Edit Venue

You will have Super User editing tools to help you make changes to your venue(s) if necessary.

  • Add/edit address
  • Add/edit phone number
  • Add/edit Twitter account
  • Latitude and longitude
  • Close a venue
  • Merge duplicate venues

Venue stats

Venue Stats

Here you can view and select ranges of statistics for your venue. You can select date ranges of: Today, Yesterday, Last week, Last 30 days, Last 60 days, Last 90 days, and All Time.

Once you select a date range you will see

  • Overview of activity
  • Top visitors
  • Most recent checkins
  • All checkins (bar chart)
  • Time breakdown (pie chart) broken down to 6a-12p, 12p-5p, 5p-12a, and 12a-6p

Manage Specials

Here you can see all of the specials you have created. You can also add, edit, activate and remove specials here as well. You can only have one special active at a time, but you can switch between specials fairly easily.

Venue Terms of Use

All of the legal stuff

That’s it. The entire process probably takes less time to do than it does to read this post. Let us know if you have questions, comments or if the process has changed.