Christmas Promotion with Foursquare for Small Business

Do you run your small business out of a retail store whereby your customers have to physically come into your store in order to make purchases? If so, then there might be a great opportunity for you to use foursquare to promote your small business, while at the same time creating a fun store environment for your customers. I know, I know, it’s only September, but you know as well as I do that you’re going to start seeing more and more holiday decorations and promotions popping up everywhere you go. Just the other day as my fiance and I were driving to a local farmers market to grab our weekly fruits & vegatables I said that it’s really starting to look a lot like Fall. The leaves were falling, the weather is cooling, and summer is starting to fade. All of you small business owners out there it’s time to start the planning process for your holiday marketing campaigns.

If you’re looking for a great way to promote your business, while keeping costs low, but spurring as much word-of-mouth publicity as possible then this foursquare Christmas Tree promotion might be right for you. The tools that we are going to use for this promotion are foursquare & email. If you have a Facebook Business page or a Small Business Blog we might use those to help promote the program and promote the winners. The only other thing you need is a Christmas Tree for your store and a few great prizes. You’ll want one prize for every day that the contest is running (and possibly even a grand prize). We’ll get into the gifts a little later in the post. For now, here’s how it might work…

Holiday Marketing Promotion with FoursquareEvery customer who comes into your store (or perhaps every customer who makes a purchase) will be instructed to check-in on foursquare before they leave the store. The offer that will compel them to check-in on foursquare is that every night the store will randomly select one of the customers who checked-in at the store on foursquare as their winner. That customer will then be notified via email (here’s where Facebook & your small business blog come in, as you can promote the winners through those tools as well) that she was the foursquare Christmas Promotion winner of the day. The customer will then be instructed to come back into the store at a time of her convenience to pick one gift from under the Christmas tree. The sooner that customer comes back to your store to pick a gift, the more gifts that will still be available to her.

Through this program you’re engaging your current customers (or prospects if you allow EVERYONE to participate) and then you’re driving them to come BACK into your store during the holiday season, which may spur them to buy something else. Heck, they may even bring a friend or family member to help them pick the gift from under the Christmas tree. Be sure that when they come back in and select their gift that they open it there – get as many pictures (or video) as possible, ensure you can use them online by getting the winner’s permission, and then post them on Facebook or any other online tools that you’re using to promote your business. You can then repeat this process everyday that the program is running.

In order to find out who’s checking-in at your small business on foursquare you simply need to claim your venue on foursquare and then access foursquare Stats; foursquare’s reporting interface. Foursquare Stats shows you who’s checking-in at your small business (among many other powerful data points). If you have a computer in your business you can check foursquare Stats and pick a winner at the end of the night at your store (maybe that will even drive customers to come back to the store every evening to see who wins). If you don’t have a computer in your store then you can simply select a winner once you get home for the evening and then send out your Winner email. Either way, the first step is to get access to your foursquare Stats and you do that by claiming your venue on foursquare.

When coming up with gift ideas to put under your Christmas tree you can be creative. Gifts can range from a $15 gift card to your store or perhaps even some products from your store. You might want to talk with other local merchants in the area to see if they are interested in co-sponsoring the program by supplying you with a unique gift or two from their store. Now you’re creating strong business partnerships with other local merchants, which can be extremely powerful when trying to create value for your customers in the future. The more you can offer your customers, the better. If you don’t have a particular item or sell a specific service, if you can point someone in the right direction to another local business for which they will be very grateful. You’re also helping to support the local economy, which is really important in today’s America.

The gifts can be anything that the majority of people who participate in the foursquare Christmas promotion will find value in. They can also range in costs from very inexpensive to moderately priced. The goal of this promotion is to drive check-ins on foursquare, engage your customers, & generate publicity & word-of-mouth awareness. Holidays are a great reason to run creative marketing promotions at your small business. It may not be this promotion that you run, but hopefully this article will spark some creative ideas for you! Happy Holidays :)

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  1. Your post is just great and full of useful suggestions!
    I’m gonna try to put in practice some of your advices and then I’ll let you know! ;)

  2. Pietro -

    Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment! We really appreciate it. Glad to see you found the content valuable and we are PUMPED that you’re going to put some of the ideas into practice. Remember to set performance measures for each tactic so that you can determine ROI. Definitely keep us posted.

    Thanks again,

    Ryan Taft

  3. I’m curious what will happen if a retailer runs both Foursquare and Facebook Places for his/her business… now, that’s pretty mess up. Which one would you choose? Thanks for the advice. Happy New Year and let’s hope for the best! – marissa@garious

  4. Marissa – Happy holidays! Thanks for taking time to leave a comment on this article. I really appreciate it. I actually think it’s OK to have a Facebook Places Page & Foursquare setup for your small business. Some folks like to check-in to both, others only use one or the other. By having both setup for your small business, you’re increasing the likelihood that your customer will check-in at one or the other.


    Ryan Taft

  5. It was amazing. Your thought process is wonderful. The way you tell about things is awesome. This is a great review. Hoping to find more related post like this. very helpful!

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