FourSquare’s Value For Businesses In Sparsely Populated Areas

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foursquare buttons

FourSquare has already made a major splash in urban areas.  Businesses thrive on competitions for mayor of their location, and check in reports provide valuable link building and traffic.  Still, for all its popularity, the value of FourSquare outside of densely populated urban centers is often called into question.

In some ways, questioning the value of FourSquare for businesses located in the other 95% of the universe is quite a valid point.  When there is only one FourSquare user within a three hour driving radius of your company, what’s the point of participating at all?  Truthfully, there is one.  Businesses in sparsely populated zones may have to use FourSquare more strategically than business in densely populated zones, but they should still make an effort to be using FourSquare.

Own Your Local Profile

With FourSquare, there are two ways for a business to get entered into the network.  The business can do it themselves, or some passer-by looking to check in to the location can enter the business profile.  It doesn’t take genius to understand that as a business, it is better to own your own profile, especially in areas where there are few people who will create a profile for you.

Building out a FourSquare business profile takes just a few minutes, but as with any business listing, do it yourself and doing it right brings value.  You can include the proper link back to your business, hours of operation, contact information, and a photo.  All of this information is indexed for search within a few hours of posting and given priority over non-authority listings.

Get SEO Boosts Without Check-Ins

Now that you own your profile, it is possible for your business to get SEO boosts from FourSquare even if you have very few people checking in at the business on regular basis.  Bing, Google, and other search systems are giving FourSquare locations a showcase when people do local search.  Thus, a search for “Nebraska Hotels” will bring up FourSquare properties as featured locations.  This enhanced rank status is independent of PPC campaigns, making the links appear more organically to potential customers.

Build Out Tips

Another way to leverage the FourSquare platform in a sparsely populated area is to build out tips about your business and the area for passing users.  Within FourSquare, it is possible to attach notes and comments to a business location – many users post here for comments on food, service, or where to get the best table, just to name a few examples.  Business owners can also write here, noting best times to visit, specials, or other regional tips.  Even without a steady stream of check-in commentary, these authoritative tips can provide search value as well as serve as a draw for FourSquare users passing through the area.

Be The Leader

As a final consideration, getting your business up on FourSquare even when you’re not in a densely populated area allows you to be a market leader.  While others overlook it, you have the opportunity to benefit from FourSquare’s local search boosts and ability to pull in new eyeballs and bodies to your business.  Even without a dense population base to drive the game-like features of FourSquare, your business can still lead the pack by being present in the FourSquare world.

Image Credit: Nan Plamero

Article by Jarred Michaelson

Jarred has written 2 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Aluminum Cases November 5, 2010, 5:51 pm

    I am not very familiar with FourSquare, but it sounds like something I will have to look into soon enough. I may be helping market a local company soon that could really benefit from things like this.

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach November 6, 2010, 3:11 am

    I keep track of FourSquare but honestly, I hate telling total strangers just where I can be found…

    • ZK@Web Marketing November 12, 2010, 11:06 am

      Confuse them , don’t tell them where you are :), honestly I think it’s a great way to promote your business..

  • Blueberry Fruit Juice November 6, 2010, 12:23 pm

    I never new before about FourSquare. After read your post, i realize that its one of the best business grooming site. I love Facebook and twitter more in whole social media series best sites..

    • ZK@Web Marketing November 12, 2010, 11:07 am

      Then you’ll love Foursquare, you should give it a shot

  • Donny Gamble November 6, 2010, 5:20 pm

    I think Foursquare’s overall concept is brilliant, but i don’t think that small businesses have figured out how to leverage it yet to help them increase business. Once they do, it will be a cash cow because then they could offer advertising.

  • Alex@Jocuri November 7, 2010, 4:50 am

    Isn’t this something similar with Google places or Google Business?
    But anything that can bring customers to your business is good in my opinion, right?

    The exposure is good from anywhere you get it.

  • Property Marbella November 7, 2010, 8:41 am

    Hi Jarred,
    Marketing and more marketing, you can never get too much of marketing for your company. Get in FourSquare if you can, it can’t be wrong.

  • Pacquiao Margarito November 7, 2010, 9:43 am

    First time I heard of FourSquare was in Facebook. They have this nice application to help them share this business location to the public. There are still people or business out there who don’t want to be located by strangers so FourSquare may not be a good option for them.

  • Marc The MLM Network Guy November 8, 2010, 2:54 am

    last summer Google made SMBs owners very happy by releasing a new business dashboard for sites that claimed their Google Business Listing. The addition put actionable data and stats directly into SMB owners’ hands so they could learn about the folks visiting their site and act on the information provided. Well, now it’s FourSquare’s turn to grown up.

    • ZK@Web Marketing November 12, 2010, 11:09 am

      We are just too dependent on Google for everything , we are the ones that are making them a monopoly and giving them all the controls..

  • Software Development Company November 8, 2010, 6:21 am

    I don’t use FourSquare till now, but it’s really good site for small business and local business.

  • Tej Kohli November 9, 2010, 12:09 am

    Haven’t really heard about Four Square before…but it does look like something that i should give a try…i have a medium sized business and i hope this will be a good opportunity for me…

  • Felicia @ No Deposit Poker November 11, 2010, 12:45 am

    I do not have any idea how FourSquare works, but I will check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  • sell used textbooks November 12, 2010, 2:19 pm

    That is a great way to think about it. I didn’t realize that even if you don’t have m,any people around you, you can still get the added SEO bonus.

  • Jasmine November 13, 2010, 1:37 pm

    I have not heard of FourSquare before. But looks like it’s interesting, and so I will take a closer look later.

  • SEO Miami November 28, 2010, 3:51 pm

    FourSquares was a big hit in Boise, Idaho when I visited there. Small business can really take advantage of promotions.