Foursquare has recently taken steps to become more than a social check-in service by making venue reviews more prominent, allowing non-Foursquare users to access information to make a decision on which business to visit and using check-ins to inform its Explore feature, which allows people to see which nearby businesses are worth checking out. Foursquare has its sights set on being more than a platform for mayorships and earning points for checking-in.
The Decline of the Check-In
The check-in is no longer the bright, shiny object it was in the past. Too many consumers don’t understand it, and it seems all the people who care about checking-in already are. The room for growth in this behavior is limited at the moment. Foursquare’s noticed, and that has dictated its response to become more of a utility and resource for people to decide where to go next.
Making a Loyalty Play
Foursquare took another step forward in becoming more of a utility this week by expanding a program that it launched in 2011 with American Express that allows AmEx cardholders to sync their cards with their Foursquare profiles. This allows them to receive a credit applied to their cards when they check-in to a business. The feature is now available to a much larger audience as both Visa and MasterCard holders now have the ability to sync their cards with Foursquare.
Burger King is the launch partner on the new feature and is offering a $1 discount for any $10 order.
This could be a big deal for Foursquare, which faces some significant challenges, including stagnant user growth, but this approach gives marketers a reason to give Foursquare another look. It could become a platform for brands to manage and socialize their loyalty programs.
The incentive to use Foursquare for users is now more tangible than ever. First, Foursquare’s evolution to becoming a tool for finding where to go and what to do makes it more attractive to users uninterested in checking-in. Second, the incentive to use Foursquare is now much more monetary, and money talks. If more brands launch special discounts for checking-in, there won’t be a reason not to use Foursquare. That means more data that Foursquare can potentially turn around for marketers looking for more customer information.
This won’t replace loyalty programs, but brands that don’t have one in place might want to consider how they could use this. Offering a greater percentage off after 10 check-ins to improve loyalty, unlocking a discount only after a certain threshold of people checked-in has been met to encourage customers to invite others to the business and so on are ways brands can use this new Foursquare partnership to reward consumer behavior.
Brands can use this to strategically reward customers for their behavior on a platform that’s social in nature.
When’s the last time your business checked out the check-in?