How To Use Foursquare For Events

October 31, 2010, 8:34 pm by

5 tips on how to use Foursquare for events.

Geo location has been one of the biggest digital trends this year. As Foursquare celebrates it’s 200 millionth check-in, more brands than ever are highlighting location as a major feature of their digital marketing efforts. However, Foursquare is one of the few online networks that encourages offline engagement as well, making it a great platform to promote experiential brand events by building buzz before, during and after.

Here are a few tips to show how Foursquare marketing can be used to add to the event experience.

1. Create A Virtual Venue – It doesn’t matter that most events won’t have a permanent physical location, as Foursquare can be used to create a temporary virtual one! Begin by logging into Foursquare and adding a new venue. Use the name of your event for the name of the venue, along with the address of where your event will be held and your Twitter handle. Finally select the appropriate category for your event and add tags to give your event some context.

2. Leave A Tip – Foursquare allows users to add tips to any venue. This is your chance to provide key information about the event or create some fun suggestions of things to do when people are there. Think about what information would add value to the event experience. We definitely recommend adding an event hash tag if you’re going to be live tweeting. Finally, encourage attendees to join in the conversation and leave their own tips.

3. Create An Incentive To Check-inSpecials can be used by business owners to promote their venues on Foursquare. The same general idea applies for events. Think of what would generate excitement with your audience. Try rewarding the first person who checks-in, or enter attendees who check-in into a raffle. Whatever you choose make sure you announce the incentive well beforehand to maximize buzz. And, also remember, even if you can’t officially claim the event on Foursquare, you can still creatively integrate foursquare incentives into your event.

4. Get your own badge – Checking-in rewards you with points, discounts and maybe even a Mayor-ship, but what Foursquare users really love are badges. Not only do badges satisfy some intrinsic nerd-factor but they also serve as a permanent reminder of an activity or event. Over the last year Foursquare has partnered with a number of events to create custom badges. Although this won’t be an option for most events, it’s definitely worth looking into. Be imaginative in your approach, think about how attendees would earn their badge or what the badge entitles them to.

5. Turn Your Event Into A Badge Earning Opportunity – If you can’t get a custom badge for your event, why not help attendees earn an existing badge? Foursquare parties have been used to unlock the Swarm badge and even the I’m On A Boat badge. Not only does this provide your attendees with a virtual reward, but it also may expose your event to a whole new audience that’s sure to discuss your event ahead of time.

However you decide to use Foursquare for your event remember to integrate your geo-social activities with any  pre-promotions and of course find a way to stay connected afterward.

If you’ve used Foursquare to promote an event we want to hear about it.

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  • Chris

    Thanks for the actionable advice. Do you think this tactic will only work with a niche audience of Foursquare users? Or can this kind of promotion work for events with a wider audience?

    Chris Atkinson


    An digital marketing agency

    Free research:

    Take the 2010 Mobile App Business Benefit Survey.

  • walter johnson

    excellent,great and more