Join the Foursquare Revolution and Put Your Small Town On the Map

by Joanne Steele on August 10, 2010

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I recently wrote about Foursquare in “Rural Tourism Marketing Tip: Save Money By Ditching Your Print Ads”, but stupid me, I didn’t stress how valuable and important this game/smartphone app/social media site could be for small town and rural tourism destinations!

Most of the buzz online is about how Foursquare is storming urban communities, but as with most social media, its effect is reaching into rural communities as well. Don’t forget, people are traveling to small towns in huge numbers and they’re bringing their smartphones with them.

Go to Foursquare and claim your business. Create some specials to reward your most loyal customers. Or create a welcome special to reward Foursquarers for just coming in for the first time and checking in.

You’ll have access to Foursquare stats. You’re customers who use Foursquare will be marketing your business for you as they “check in” and share where they are with their friends on Foursquare, Facebook and even Twitter.

For rural areas Foursquare users may still be coming to town in small numbers, but that’s how Twitter, Yelp, TripAdvisor and all the others started – small numbers that have grown into millions.

Don’t by dismayed. This social media tool doesn’t need the babysitting your Facebook Page requires. Just go on, claim your venue, set up some specials and rewards for loyal customers, and plan to revisit the site to change your specials and check your stats.

Be sure your staff understands what’s happening so they’ll know to give your current “mayor” his or her due deference. (Your staff are probably Foursquare users and can help you get it set up.)

A client recently complained that he felt completely out of control with all the demands of Internet marketing and social media.

My response? Enjoy it!! It’s a roller coaster of opportunity. Do what you can. Go ahead and scream when it feels like the bottom is dropping out. And remember that IT’S FREE AND IT WORKS!

Here are two more articles to help you understand Foursquare:

Foursquare: Why It May Be the Next Twitter – scroll down to “Foursquare: What’s Different and What’s Next” to skip all the tech jargon.

AboutFoursquare.com

1 Frank August 11, 2010 at 3:10 am

Great post thanks, hope some of your readers get into this. See it regularly over Twitter so there are plenty if users. Btw, love ur site, sorry have not commented before!

2 Erica August 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

Is there any way to make use of Foursquare without a smartphone? My town is pretty remote (there isn’t actually cell coverage between us and the next town over, which is two hours away) and I can’t picture finding the money in the operating budget for me to pick up a new phone.

3 Joanne Steele August 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Hi Erica,
You can go onto Foursquare on your home computer and claim your business. The important thing is that your customers will be delighted to announce to their friends that they are in your remote town enjoying your business. If there is coverage in your town, they’ll be able to play. If not, start yelling like mad for both cell and broadband coverage!!http://ruraltourismmarketing.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form

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