) are using it to encourage customers to visit their stores.Users can either download the app to their smartphone, or search Foursquare on the web to see where their friends have “checked-in” (physically visited a store’s location).Key statistics are aggregated by Foursquare (they do all of the heavy lifting! In this email there are also tips that individuals have left for your business (think of this as a virtual comments box), as well as any photos that customers have taken at your location.

Foursquare is a business-to-consumer, location-based social networking platform that helps drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar outlets.

Both small mom ‘n’ pop shops, as well as big brand name companies (and everyone in between!

Remember that Foursquare is just one piece of the entire social media puzzle and should not be viewed in isolation.

As with every social media platform (paired with insights from other parts of the business) managers know to be mindful of the ‘big picture’ when analyzing their marketing effectiveness.

The concept of claiming your business is similar to a business listing in a traditional Yellow Pages, however this listing is interactive and provides up-to-date information relevant to your target market.

Individuals can “check-in” at business locations and leave comments about their experience for other Foursquare users to view.Since “a picture is worth 1000 words,” post timely photos of the people, places and events related to your business activity.Think about what would resonate most with your customers and what would have them coming back to your Foursquare page for more.Here’s what’s on the Foursquare page of The Piccadilly Printing Company in Winchester, VA: Print shop’s logo displayed The listing includes images of their print shop (which have been added over time) Contact information (including business hours of operation) Link back to Piccadilly Printing Company’s Facebook page Check-in Special – “Get a free 2013 Community Events Calendar!!!” Tips (comments) displayed Check-ins – A user can check-in (notify other Foursquare users) once they have arrived to a business’ location.Additionally, the customer who checks-in the most at your location becomes (in Foursquare speak) the “mayor” of your business.