Using Foursquare to Improve Customer Retention for Your Small Beading Business

Social networking has become the latest trend when it comes to propelling your company, and as a small beading business owner, it's a big opportunity for you to make a name for yourself in the industry.

There are a number of different platforms to work with: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. But, one of the most popular as of late is Foursquare. This social networking website allows users to create a profile and "check in" to locations they are visiting at the time. Although it's a fairly easy concept, many entrepreneurs are still unaware of Foursquare and the benefits it can bring to small businesses.

"For merchants, there are two things that really matter: acquisition and retention," Tristan Walker, head of business development at Foursquare, told Inc.com. "And really I think the goal for us, and we've said this from the beginning, is to bring back the nostalgic, remember-your-name kind of loyalty that consumers still want. We want to redefine what loyalty means at a retailer, merchant, or even to a brand, because that makes a difference."

There are a few ways you can make the most of Foursquare. The first step is to allow customers to "check in" to your location upon visiting your storefront. Users are inclined to check in to spots they frequent because if they visit enough times, they can become the "mayor," or most popular guest, at the spot. In turn, Foursquare is simply a game, but it's an enticing one--people can earn virtual badges to boast of the number of locations they've visited and write reviews as well.

One of the benefits of using Foursquare for your small beading business is it's an easy way to improve customer retention. The social networking site gives you the opportunity to increase customer loyalty without a fee, which is hard to come by these days.

Foursquare is also simplistic in its design and caters to even the least tech-savvy entrepreneurs. Merchants and vendors can easily set up an account and design badge systems to appeal to their target audience.

"At the end of the day, our goal is very simple," Walker told the news source. "We want to redefine what loyalty means at a retailer or merchant. And we think that these changes make it considerably easier for businesses to do that."

One way to get your clients to utilize Foursquare at your location and boost your notoriety is by offering incentives to those who do. A number of businesses are willing to offer discounts to those who check in at their storefront or even give away free prizes, such as gift cards or T-shirts. Although it may seem like you're essentially wasting money by providing these incentives, there are benefits to doing so.

Customer retention is everything when it comes to Foursquare. If clients know they can potentially reap rewards by constantly visiting your shop, they may be more inclined to swing by on a regular basis.

"I was the mayor of a frozen yogurt place for a while, and they had an offer to get a free topping if you could show them your mayor status," Veronica Belmont, a Foursquare user, told the news source. "I probably ate more yogurt than I'd ever need to just to keep my mayorship."

There are ways to attract new customers to your small beading business through Foursquare as well. In addition to offering various discounts to those who check in, utilize the option to provide coupons to customers who are willing to shop with you. One-time offers and giveaways for new consumers are great ways to increase your client base.

Remember there are a number of benefits to using Foursquare other than just improving customer retention. For instance, Foursquare can allow you to keep track of your clients on a wide scale. You will be able to gain better insight into where your customers are coming from and which demographics fit in with what you're selling. This can be particularly helpful when considering marketing a new product or service.

In the end, the pros heavily outweigh the cons when it comes to utilizing Foursquare, but as always, you might want to consider bringing in some extra help. Don't shy away from the idea of recruiting a staff member to manage your online presence on Foursquare and other social networking websites. Customers may shy away from visiting your profiles over time if they see that you don't update frequently. It may seem like a tedious process to build your online reputation, but it can benefit your small beading business in numerous ways over time.


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