Foursquare Testing New Ad Platform

Foursquare Courts Small Business

Mashable is confirming that location based social networking company Foursquare is now testing a new advertising platform created for small business, by permitting large advertisers like Burger King, Gap and Starwood Hotels to test promote themselves with the platform…These listings show up in Foursquare when a customer gets close to a business’ physical location. Small businesses already had the ability to offer discounts when a user checked in to a location, but now Foursquare is providing them with a way to attract geographically close customers by showing an image ad and/or review by a previous Foursquare user.

foursquareWhy this may be a good idea for Foursquare

Foursquare is a location-based social networking site for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Typically its users “check in” at various venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific app. Their specific location is found through the GPS in their mobile device. Foursquare has so far been a way for consumers to promote their favorite bars, hangouts and restaurants. Now, those places will have a way to promote themselves directly to consumers. While Foursquare has gathered some 25 million registered users, they earned just $2 million dollars last year, according to The Wall Street Journal. They’re clearly searching for ways to boost the earnings.

How the ads work

The way the new ad platform works is through targeting Foursquare users based on their locations and check-in histories. Merchants have the capability to attract nearby customers with specific tastes, say for example a hankering for Far Eastern cuisine, or simply just customers who had checked-in to their location previously. Merchants can stop their Foursquare promotions whenever they want, and the pricing for this is similar to a pay per click model, that is, they are only going to be charged on a “per action” basis (when a user actually taps on a promoted listing as opposed to merely looking at it). Initial ad prices are $0.50 to $3 per action, but that may change as it’s released to everyone. Foursquare CRO Steven Rosenblatt said, “Small businesses are willing to pay for local advertising if it makes sense.”

About Alan Weeks

Founder and CEO of Envision Net, Inc. He has a notable 12-year, internet marketing and operations career, in particular, developing and implementing internet marketing strategies for local businesses.

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