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Foursquare Primer For Jewelry Stores

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It's been a long time since I wrote about Foursquare. In fact I believe it was August 2010 when I did a comparative series between Foursquare, Gowalla, DeHood, Whrrl, Loopt, Brightkite, and SCVNGR. Since then, it seems Foursquare has managed to become the more recognizable of the location based services. They also had some growing pains in developing usable business applications.

While Foursquare was figuring out what to do with themselves a few of their competitors disappeared:
* GoWalla was acquired by Facebook
* Whrrl was acquired by Groupon
* Brightkite was acquired by Limbo

Odds are that you, the jewelry store owner, do not have a Foursquare venue for your store. This needs to change today. There are plenty of reasons to be involved with this now, so let's take the first steps and get your venue created and verified.

Just so you know, you do not need to hire a consultant or marketing expert to manage your Foursquare account for you. This can be done entirely in-house by your or your staff, or you can pay a marketing professional to do it for you.

You'll need to start with downloading the Foursquare app on your smartphone and setting up an account for yourself. If you don't yet have a smartphone, I urge you get one today. If you're on a retirement track then please pass this Nugget to your successor because this is where your store needs to be now, not tomorrow.

Once you have the Foursquare app installed, the easiest way to create a venue for your store is to do it through the app on your phone then check-in. While you are standing inside your store, you need to search for your store's name using the magnifying glass button inside the Foursquare app. Make sure to type your store's name using correct capitalization and punctuation.

Your store will not appear in the list unless one of your customers already created your venue. If you do find it then continue with the claiming process I explained below. If you don't find it then scroll all the way to the bottom of the search results list and tap on the "Not listed?" link. From there you can select the category "Shop & Services > Jewelry Store" and enter your address. When you're done, just click the "Add New Place" button.

On the next screen you will be prompted to check-in to the venue. While you're at it, take a step outside and snap a pic of your storefront or recognizable sign. It has to be something that a prospective customer will use to identify that they are in the right place.

Once you've done that, you need to go back to your computer and log into foursquare.com and search for your venue. The venue page will have a small link on the bottom right that says "Do you manage this venue? Claim here." Click the Claim here link to start the process.

You will have to agree to their terms and click the Get Started button. They will ask for a telephone number, which I suggest you use your published number that belongs to your jewelry store, but it doesn't seem to be necessary. After typing in your number and clicking the Continue button your screen will show a 4 digit verification code and your telephone will ring.

On the phone you will be asked to state your name and your relation to the venue as proof that you are authorized to claim the venue. They will record your response and then allow you to type in the 4 digit code you see on the screen. The screen will change to the final verification step as soon as you enter in the code.

The final verification offers either a Snail Mail Verification or an Expedited Verification. With the Snail Mail you are able to edit your mailing address before submitting the request for a post card. With the Expedited Verification you will pay a $10 fee using a credit card to verify your account.

The snail mail card says it will arrive in 10-15 days, but in my experience you need to give it 3 weeks, so you have to plan ahead for this one.

Naturally you will want to create the venue for your jewelry store, but you could create unique venues for special events if you want to. A special event venue could be located at your store, or it could be an evening gala you are planning at the local museum (for example). No doubt the museum already has its own Foursquare venue, but you should create one that is under your control. When the special event is at your store you can easily use the post card verification, but when it's at an outside venue you will need to spend the $10 to verify it. Make sure you explain the details of the event during the verification, as in, "This is a special event planned for {future date}. I'm the event planner and marketing rep for the event. The event is sponsored by {Jewelry Store Name} and I can be reached at {phone number} for further details."

As a test, I created the Perosi Jewelers venue in Totowa, NJ and went through the post card verification process. I also created a venue called "Jewelry Trunk Show Social Gathering" located at the same address and verified it with a post card.

For my jWAG Office in Bordeaux, France I decided to do the $10 expedited verification and it worked very easily. I used my French cell phone for that verification.

Once you verify your listing, Foursquare gives you a lot of good information to track your user engagements and visibility. They've done a really good job at developing good business tools since I last wrote about them.

Some of their business tools include a view of the people who've checked in and how many of those check-ins were shared on Twitter and Facebook. This gives a really good sense of your social visibility, and certainly justifies your involvement with Foursquare.

From within these editing tools you can also add more information about your store, like your hours. Take a look at the Tools tab and fill in as much as possible, include a description.

In tomorrow's Nugget I'll give you some specific ideas how to use Foursquare in your jewelry store marketing. But before you can get there you will need to create and claim your venue, so go do that now.

Contact me if you need help with any of this or you can visit my Foursquare Ambassador page at http://join.4sq.com/matthewperosi
AT: 08/23/2012 06:22:25 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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