Beginning September 10, merchants with actual locations can now work with foursquare to start developing Promoted Updates. In beta for several months, a few brands have had the opportunity to test Promoted Updates and they seem to like it as well as the users seeing them.
Up until now, local advertisers could make their loyal customers aware of specials and promotions via Local Updates. It has been very difficult to promote to new audiences. To see Local Updates, the users would have had to check in several times or liked a location on foursquare. When they did, that store, restaurant, or business could send out updates that included text, photos and specials or event information. Local Updates are seen in the “friends” section.
Unlike Local Updates, Promoted Updates appear in the “Explore” section. The Explore area is foursquare’s search engine to personalize re-world recommendations. Search results are based on an algorithm that takes into account many variables, but the five main ones are:
- Previous check-ins (past behavior)
- Friends check-ins (social relevance)
- Time of day (when the business is the most popular)
- Performance of past campaigns
Per foursquare, the differences between Local Updates & Promoted Updates are:
– People see promoted updates in Explore when they are looking for something to do nearby. Promoted Updates are shown at the top of Explore and will only be seen by users when a business is paying to promote that content and is relevant for the user
– People see local updates in their Friend Feed. Local Updates are only seen by a user if they are near the venue and have been a loyal customer
So why is this important? If someone or their friends have never checked in to a business, that business has the opportunity to reach them. For example, if someone check-in to their office and wanted to explore somewhere to eat for lunch, with Promoted Updates, they are served an ad from a local pizza shop with daily specials and a link to order online. They may have never gone there and none of their friends have been there but they are now exposed to the pizza shop.
Promoted Updates are sold on a cost per action basis. An action is someone clicking on the ad or checking in to the location within 72 hours of being served a post. So with the analytics of who is doing an action, advertisers will also be able to find out:
– Social reach (check-ins pushed to Twitter and Facebook)
– Check-ins at their venues
– Time of day a person checks-in
– Unique customers at your venues
– People who liked your venues
– People who liked your chain
– People who liked your updates
Not only can local business take advantage of Promoted Updates, but larger chains have the ability to group locations together for regional/local advertising.
As someone who likes to check in, some say a bit too much, it will be nice to see new places to go that I may not have been aware of not only in Columbus where I live but in cities I visit. For some who targets users to drive them into a location for my clients, it is nice to see a way to reach a target audience within a specific area and push out messages rather then wait for them to check in.
Nice check in foursquare!