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Posted by on Mar 31, 2011 in How To | 1 comment

How to Set up a Foursquare Special

How to Set up a Foursquare Special

With Sanuk opening their first flagship store in Downtown Disney I got to beg ask if could set up a Foursquare special. While the people I work with may not understand the joys of geo-locating, the new manager of the store was all for my involvement. Starting from scratch I learned how to create an account, claim my store, and set up my very first special. And now I am sharing that process with you! Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get your Foursquare account up and running.

1. Account Setup: Even if you already have a personal account it is a good idea to set up a separate account for managing your store(s). People can see who the “manager” of a location is and in order to protect your privacy it is best to establish a new account with a work email address. Unless you intend to use this account to do lots of check ins and earn badges (see Mattel’s Barbie and Ken campaign) you can use this account purely for admin duties on your computer.

2. Claim Your Venue: The easiest way to do this is search for your venue, if someone has already added it you can claim it. Of course, if it hasn’t been added then you will need to scroll to the bottom of the results where it says “Don’t see the place you’re looking for?” and click on “Add a new venue to foursquare”. You can also in the setting up process specify if you have one store, under 10 or over 10 in order to help make the process easier.

3. Adding a Venue: Should you need to add a venue make sure you have the address, phone number, Twitter handle and website on hand. You will need this to all be accurate for the next step.

4. Verify Ownership of Venue: In order to claim your venue you will need to be able to answer the phone or receive mail at the venue. If you can’t do either of these then you can’t claim them. My work around, since the Disney Store is in in Anaheim and I work in Irvine was to ask the manager to be on the look out for mail from Foursquare and email me when it came.

5. Setting up Your Special: You have a lot of options here, you can do check in specials, loyalty specials, mayor specials, etc. I won’t try and break down each of these for you since Foursquare does a good job on their site. You don’t have to start this process knowing exactly what you want to do. Since there are so many options, look around, get creative! For Sanuk I created a special that helped promote a new product, anyone who purchases a specific product will get a free Sanuk hat (retail value is $26). And on that note, don’t choose a lame special. Sometimes I see specials that are very limited i.e. only certain times of day, only with very specific requirements, etc.  Those kinds of specials just come off as lame. With social media you have to make the choice to go big or go home.

6. Training Staff: One of the biggest fails I saw with a Foursquare special was with RadioShack. They had a special set up, but when approached to redeem, a friend of mine was turned away because the employee had no idea what he was talking about. There is no good reason this should ever happen (and it makes your business look foolish). Foursquare actually provides customized posters to hang behind registers and in break rooms that show your specific special and what it will look like on a phone. The only bummer is that they only show a screen shot from an iPhone. I have a Blackberry and I can see how that might confuse a teenager since it isn’t exactly what they were shown.

Need more? Here are a five examples of unique Foursquare specials.

You can count on an updated post in a few months on what kind reporting I am getting and an update on how my very first special went.

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