Foursquare offering ad space to small businesses
The location-based social media platform, Foursquare, announced that it would begin offering paid advertising to small businesses. They have been testing their ad platform for over a year and have included a new self-service tool that allows businesses to create their own ads without the need for technical support. The process is quite simple: you will just go here, choose a photo to represent your company/product/service, then, highlight a customer tip or special offer. All that is left is to set your monthly budget and you are ready to go live. Once you are finished, any Foursquare user nearby will see your ad and be drawn to your business.
With an audience of around 40 million users, small business ads on Foursquare may well be worth the money. All of those users are familiar with “checking in” when they visit local businesses, and when they are near your business, they will see your ad. Once they see your ad, if they visit and then check-in, you will be able to see exactly how effective your marketing campaign is.
Brands can monitor interaction better
As Foursquare’s blog notes, you no longer have to “figure out if a ‘like’ or a ‘click’ has any meaning in the real world; now [you] can tell if someone who saw [your] ad actually walks into [your] store.” Any business will be able to monitor how many people have viewed their ad, how many have tapped on it, and how many people actually came in to the store. You can actually see what you are paying for and decide whether or not it is worth the money for your business.
More and more social media platforms are offering paid advertising: Google, Twitter, Facebook, and as AGBeat recently covered, Pinterest. Each one offers its own advantages and drawbacks, but we all know that social media is the place where getting your name out really matters. Foursquare is definitely worth a look, especially for businesses seeking to stay within a budget. Other ad services, like Yelp, focus on discounts and buying ads for long periods of time, whereas Foursquare gives you the freedom to create an ad that features one product, with no discount at all if you want, and draw people in for as long as your budget allows.
Bottom-line: Foursquare is putting the power of their audience into small business owners’ hands and giving you free-reign to create an ad campaign that is both budget-friendly and effective without the hassle of speaking to a customer service representative.