Saying that the internet is a big place is among the greatest understatements anyone can make. In our modern web-centric age, everyone is connected to each other and industries appear to grow overnight. Regardless of the service or product a business may offer, there’s always going to be a number of other organizations out there getting in a company’s way. When Google or Bing searches for an industry term bring back page after page of results of competitors, it’s clearly time to begin reexamining your online marketing strategy.

These days, being in constant contact with your customer base is absolutely vital. Although increasingly more businesses are seeking out SEO companies and web developers to design sleeker, more Google-friendly websites, many companies fail to make enough of an impact in the social media market. Yes, nearly every organization has a Facebook page and several even have Google+ profiles as well, but there are still other venues through which a company can find and secure a loyal audience. Chief among these is Foursquare.

Checking In and Cashing Out

Smartphone users are becoming increasingly familiar with Foursquare. What once started as a rather innocuous mobile network app that logs travel activity, the Foursquare community has grown to a user base that now numbers in the tens of millions. While the level of activity seen on the network varies greatly from person to person, a large chunk of this audience is dedicated to using its mobile app daily and “checking in” wherever they go. Users can choose to share photos taken at said locations, leave reviews about the quality of the establishment, or make various recommendations on how to get the best service possible.

Although the feedback a company receives through Foursquare is generally kept within the mobile app and browser-based interfaces, the network is slowly making its debut on search result pages. According to a recent story from Marketing Land, Bing’s social sidebar now includes updates from Foursquare in addition to other social media posts. For the time being, this functionality is found exclusively in Bing, but there is a chance for this data to also appear in Google and other search engines in the future.

Even though Foursquare may not have the mass appeal and total exposure that bigger social networks have, that doesn’t mean that business owners should ignore it. Simply by putting up signs or posters in your workplace that remind people to “check in” at your business, you increase the odds of raising your company’s brand recognition among the mobile user base. Since those people who befriend one another on Foursquare are constantly notified of their friends’ activity, businesses benefit by having their company’s name be seen by an increasingly diverse crowd of would-be customers. All it takes a bit of initiative in reminding clientele  and employees that you’re listed on the network.

For additional tips and advice on how to use Foursquare to improve your company profile, I can be contacted at jwersits@webimax.com.