Foursquare, a location-based micro-blogging service that launched in 2009 seems to be on the verge of relevance. In preparation for their marketing push at SXSW they announced that they have added 500,000 new members bringing their total to somewhere in the 1 million area. Additionally, they are launching a free analytics service for business owners so that could create interesting marketing opportunities for businesses that are based on foot traffic. I’m rooting for them because this could become a very interesting marketing medium. This recent article in the NYTimes explains the new analytics service in some detail with examples of how some of the beta-testing businesses have been using it.Foursquare users use mobile apps to tell the foursquare community where they are and what they are doing. However, from the business perspective, users are checking in when they come to your location which gives you some information that you can leverage. For instance, some businesses have found that is interesting to be able to message formally frequent visitors to get them back. Others have been able to learn more about what messages have been driving their customers to them. In a nutshell, any business can see the registered customers and prospects around them and look for ways to reel them in or make their experience more enjoyable.
Here’s a screenshot of the kind of stats that they are planning to share with businesses:
Foursquare recently beta-tested this tool with 30 businesses and is planning to expand the beta round to 500 in the coming weeks. If the user-base grows, this could become useful resource for marketers. As it is right now, it’s just on the verge of earning our attention. Stay tuned and share any information you learn about this service or any of its near-competitors.