the original social media agency ®
Blog

Foursquare API Offers Possibilities To Engage with Customers

Gene Smith.

Foursquare provides many useful tools to help spread the word about your brick and mortar establishment. The social media marketing giant added an update to its API that many marketers have seemed to miss, an apps platform that offers features to venues that can greatly enhance the user experience. Within this platform, managers of venues can keep tabs on and interact with nearby users within the Foursquare App, in real time.


Foursquare Venue and User Push API

Foursquare's API allows users and venues to create apps for use within Foursquare. This is a great way to further enhance the Foursquare experience and make it easier for users to discover more about your business or venue (according to Foursquare lingo). By registering for the Real Time API, you and your staff can get live updates directly to a mobile device whenever someone checks in to your location, and even provide opportunities to interact with them.

The Venue Push API will notify users who have authorized the option on their device when they are close to a Foursquare venue. The User Push API, on the other hand, informs you whenever a client checks in to your venue. This information is useful on its own for keeping tabs on who is currently in your venue. It also gives you a sense of how many of your customers are active Foursquare users.

You can also respond to the push by communicating with that user. You could possibly offer a Foursquare coupon or special for checking in. These specials could be offered automatically upon check-in or shared in advance on your Foursquare site in the form of tips, but human interaction and response to a check-in in real-time will be much more engaging and noticeable to your customers.

Here is an example of push code generated by the User Push API, taken from the Foursquare website:

{
 "id": "4e6fe1404b90c00032eeac34",
 "createdAt": 1315955008,
 "type": "checkin",
 "timeZone": "America/New_York",
 "user": {
    "id": "1",
    "firstName": "Jimmy",
    "lastName": "Foursquare",
    "photo": "https://foursquare.com/img/blank_boy.png",
    "gender": "male",
    "homeCity": "New York, NY",
    "relationship": "self"
 },
 "venue": {
    "id": "4ab7e57cf964a5205f7b20e3",
    "name": "foursquare HQ",
    "contact": {
        "twitter": "foursquare"
    },
    "location": {
        "address": "East Village",
        "lat": 40.72809214560253,
        "lng": -73.99112284183502,
        "city": "New York",
        "state": "NY",
        "postalCode": "10003",
        "country": "USA"
    },
    "categories": [
        {
          "id": "4bf58dd8d48988d125941735",
          "name": "Tech Startup",
          "pluralName": "Tech Startups",
          "shortName": "Tech Startup",
          "icon": "https://foursquare.com/img/categories/building/default.png",
          "parents": [
              "Professional & Other Places",
              "Offices"
          ],
          "primary": true
        }
    ],
    "verified": true,
    "stats": {
        "checkinsCount": 7313,
        "usersCount": 565,
        "tipCount": 128
    },
    "url": "http://foursquare.com"
 }
}

(Source: Foursquare.com)

A user push code will notify you with information about a customer's visit, in real-time, on your mobile device. The code for the venue push is almost identical to the user push code, except that this feature targets the user and allows those who have enabled the service to be notified when they get close to your venue.

This feature offers a great opportunity to entice near-by Foursquare users to walk in the door. Not every user will have the feature enabled, but every Foursquare user who does – and also happens to pass nearby – will receive this information. With a combination of interesting tips about your establishment or the neighborhood, and promotional check-in offers to lure them in the door, taking advantage of these API features will be sure to set you apart from other local competition. These notifications provide you with a well targeted advertising opportunity that is too good to pass up.

Generating More Foursquare 'Likes'

Although not technically an API, Foursquare tips and likes are another great way to make your page stand out on the site. Foursquare offers this helpful page to generate code for creating buttons to share on your website, Facebook, or anywhere else you have an online presence. Enter your Foursquare URL and customize your button, and Foursquare will take care of the rest for you. Your code will come out looking something like this:

  <!-- Place this anchor tag where you want the button to go -->
  <a href="https://foursquare.com/user/360215" data-type="like"
  data-fuid="360215" data-variant="wide">Like us on foursquare</a>
  <!-- Place this script somewhere after the anchor tag above.
  If you have multiple buttons, only include the script once. -->
  <script type='text/javascript'>
    (function() {
       window.___fourSq = {};
       var s = document.createElement('script');
       s.type = 'text/javascript';
       s.src = 'http://platform.foursquare.com/js/widgets.js';
       s.async = true;
       var ph = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
       ph.parentNode.insertBefore(s, ph);
    })();
  </script>

You will want to insert your page's code onto your website, Facebook, and other pages. You want this to be visible when people are looking up information on your establishment, whether they find it on their computers or their mobile devices. It is wise to incorporate them into social media campaigns and special events. When people are "liking" your venue, they are not only sharing it with their friends, but they are also likely to be loyal customers.


Ampersand
Stay in the Know

Tell us about yourself and sign up for our weekly newsletter, Social You Should Know. You'll receive the latest social media news and insights from Jim Tobin and the Ignite Social Media team.

Chat
Comments