In the United States we refer to this day as Black Friday. Many businesses other than retail are closed to celebrate the long weekend of Thanksgiving. It's the only day off from work before Christmas and the Holiday Season is officially kicked off. A large percent of consumers will go shopping today.
It's time to make those lists and check them twice...
We've not spoken about Foursquare in a while, but it's still growing, and to us it's clearly the winner of the location based services. Facebook has moved away from promoting it's check-in service and Gowalla has reformatted itself more as a tourist guide map.
This Nugget was published on November 25, 2011 in hopes that our readers that morning would take action before their store opened that day.
On November 21, 2011, Foursquare announced the check-in statistics for Black Friday 2010. Let's review those as perhaps a foreshadowing of what might happen today in your store. We will explain the important points, but if you want to look at it yourself go here:
In 2010 consumers were checking in as early as 4am with a steady check-in rate from 4am through 7am after which it had a steady rise to the highest check-in rate at 2pm. From 2pm there is a very gradual decline in the number of check-ins until 11pm.
Tracking the Foursquare check-ins by hour shows us that more people were shopping in the morning and up through 2pm on Black Friday 2010 than the rest of the day. Will this be the trend in your jewelry store this year? Watch the clock and keep track.
Keep in mind that Foursquare does not track actual sales volume, it only tracks the presence of foot traffic inside stores. The Target department store was #1 with the most number of check-ins last year. Here's the top 9 from their list:
2. Best Buy
4. Toys "R" Us
6. Apple Store
8. Home Depot
Foursquare didn't actually have enough jewelry specific statistics, but they did show that 16% of all check-in took place in shopping malls. That's good news for all jewelers in a mall location, just be creative at drawing them inside.
There's also a catch all "Other" category on the Foursquare report showing 12% of the Black Friday 2010 check-ins. Actual jewelry store check-ins would be a very small portion of that number.
Even if you don't have a business venue listing on Foursquare, there are a few things you could do today (as in Friday November 25, 2011--Black Friday 2011) that will help attract some of those Foursquare users. Black Friday shopping is a social experience both in person and online through smartphones.
If you spend the next 15 minutes following these directions you could attract the attention of some new clients today and socially engage them tomorrow through Foursquare.
Hopefully these directions will make Foursquare easy to set up and use.
Even if you don't have an account yet, the phone app is quick to download and create an account within minutes. Go into your phone's app store and search for Foursquare. It's probably already one of the top listed apps in the free category. Download and install it.
The first time you open the app it will ask you to log in or create an account. Creating an account is very easy; just follow their directions to enter a username, email address, password, and anything else they might require.
Once you're logged in tap the "Check-in" button and use the search field to look for your jewelry store. If your store is already in the list it means someone else created it and checked-in previously. If your store is not in the search results then scroll down to the bottom of the results and tap the "Add this place" button. Fill in the details for your store and add it.
The app will ask you to check-in as soon as the place is added, so do that.
The last step is to leave a "Tip" after you are checked in. You can leave as many tips as you'd like but don't get carried away. Limit yourself to 2 tips today, and another 2 for tomorrow's Small Business Saturday event.
You can even upload photos, so tap the little camera button and snap a few pics of the store and products to upload.
Okay, last step. Click this link to view and download the Foursquare Door Cling:
Normally you have to wait several weeks for Foursquare to send you the official plastic cling for your door, but we're speeding up the process for you. Print that out and tape it in your front door, perhaps right next to your credit card logos. Print a few more and set them up as small counter top signs.
Even die hard Foursquare users forget to check-in when visiting a store, and these little sign post reminders will help them.
That's it for the setup, maybe it will take more than 15 minutes with the door cling printout, but it's worth it.
After the craziness of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday is over, take a few minutes to log into foursquare.com on your computer. Find your store and look at who's checked-in. Request to be a friend of each person. If they've made a purchase they might already be someone you know or remember.
Now that you've done this you should check-in to your own store every once in a while. When check-in you should also type a message like "They just got the new Christmas Pandora beads" or "OMG look at the size of that loose diamond in their showcase!" Many Foursquare users will read the check-in comments from their friends, and for you this means you have another social method of sneaky advertising. Don't blatantly say "Come check out our new shipment of Pandora beads," instead use the suggested soft announcement above.
Check-in comments don't have a long life or visibility. They will pop up on your friend's phones, but after that they become tough to find. On the other hand the tips have a very long life, so leave another tip every once in a while.