With over 10 million users on foursquare, this social media platform is a hard one to ignore…In fact, it’s one of my favorite free applications for salon to utilize, acting as a digital loyalty program in today’s mobile-driven society.

 In my last blog post I told you about all of the great benefits of foursquare, now, I’m going to share with you how to actually get started utilizing the popular location-based platform. Here we go:

1. First thing’s first, you must ‘create a foursquare account’. It’s easy, free and will only take a few minutes. Simply go to www.foursquare.comto get started. You will notice you can either create an account with your email address, or you can sign up using your Facebook account.

On Your Mark. Get Set. Foursquare!

     2. Next it’s time to ‘claim your location’ in the world of foursquare by verifying you are the business administrator or owner. Doing this will allow you to promote specials to users and view the demographics and analytics begin each special. 

       To do so, search for your salon’s name in the search box provided at the top. It’s likely someone has already created your location by now, however you can then walk through the process to change that. Once you’ve found your location, click on your salon name.

       Note: If you can’t find your salon listing, click ‘add a new venue to foursquare’ which is at the bottom of the page. Fill out the information when prompted and once plugged in, your venue page will come up. Then, click ‘claim here’ on the venue page.

       3. Here we go! Time to click the ‘claim venue’ link next to your salon name to start the verification process. Foursquare will ask you a few questions about your salon (i.e. is it a chain?) and whether you are authorized to claim the venue. Then it will ask how you’d like to verify your ownership – either by phone or mail.

         4. Next, you will need to ‘enter your verification PIN’. If you select to be verified by phone, foursquare will call you and provide a 4-digit PIN that you can enter on the site. If you select by mail, the PIN will be sent via postcard for you to then follow the instructions.

           Once verified, you will also receive a foursquare window cling so customers know you are a Foursquare-friendly salon!  Be sure to put the cling in a high traffic area.

          On Your Mark. Get Set. Foursquare!

          5. Now it’s time to get creative! As the new owner of your location, you can use the platform to ‘create specials to reward your customers’. The method is pretty straightforward and the wizard walks you through each step as you create your special. You can have two specials running at a given location. There are seven different options for specials, be sure to experiment and try a few different ones each month.

          On Your Mark. Get Set. Foursquare!

            Wondering what types of specials to create? Here are some ideas: Discount with purchase, ‘spend $100 and get $10 off’

            • Something for free, ‘Enjoy a free deep conditioning treatment with any service’
            • Special treatment, ‘check in to receive 20% off any retail purchase today’
            • Reward your best customers ‘free blow-out on your fifth check-in’ – think of it like a digital punch card

            6. Along with specials, also remember to encourage your fans to leave ‘tips’ and upload photos to your foursquare location. For example, check out all of the great tips for C The Salon in Studio City, CA! Foursquare can in many ways double as a review site.

               On Your Mark. Get Set. Foursquare!

              7. And finally, the last area to cover is the analytics section. Once your specials are set up you can access a dashboard of analytics that show you how many check-ins you’re getting each day as well as a breakdown of your customer demographics who are utilizing the platform.

                Be sure to teach your employees how to recognize and award the specials you have set up. It’s important to make social media part of your weekly salon meetings with your staff so they are educated on what platforms you are running and how to encourage participation.

                Remember, foursquare is flexible and you can always make changes in real-time. Keep experimenting to find the solution that works for your salon, to drive business, reward clients and to increase your social buzz!

                 As always, feel free to contact me with any questions at: kehlers@evokebrands.com and, be sure to check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/EvokeBrandStrategies.com.

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                About www.StyleSync.me:

                Style Sync is an on-line social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed specifically for salon owners and stylists to help them magnify their image and multiply their results.

                Style Sync, a division of Evoke Brand Strategies, is an on-line, subscription based social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed to help individual stylists and salon owners turn social media prowess into more clients and more money for your salon.

                About www.EvokeBrands.com:

                At Evoke Brand Strategies we develop digital, social and mobile strategies for salon professional, beauty, hospitality and entertainment brands. As branding and public relations veterans, yet early adopters of all things digital, we understand the importance of creating measurable, buzz-worthy campaigns that generate bottom-line results.