Using Foursquare to Reach New Audiences

Jasper Visser writes at Museum of the Future:

Our new website, and especially its integration of Google Maps, made it easy to add stories from our website to relevant places in Foursquare. About a month ago I’ve added 15 stories as tips to Foursquare. And it seems to work! Some of the tips have been done relatively often and between 0.05 and 0.1 % of our website traffic (wow!) now comes from Foursquare.

Here’s what I did (and/or should have done, looking back):

  1. I looked for things on our website (stories, etc.) directly related to a location.
  2. Then I looked for a venue on Foursquare at this location with a lot of check-ins (train stations seem to work best) and preferably not too much tips.
  3. I added a tip with the main body of the information of the story (the length of a tip is limited, so even when you add the core of your message it works like a teaser).
  4. To the tip, I added a URL. The last couple of them I’ve given the extra attribute ?source=4sq to be able to measure them in Google Analytics. (There’s no other way to measure the traffic from Foursquare as far as I know).
  5. I measure success using a special Advanced Segment for Foursquare (using the ?source=4sq).

I believe train stations are especially useful, because people spend time waiting at these places (opposed to for instance in a bar). Our most successful tip I added to a station and the attached story was about that station. The second most successful one deals with the history of brewing beer.

Surprisingly, it’s not only fun facts (such as the beer) that draw traffic. Also the more heavy historical tips draw traffic.

I appreciate these insights and Jasper’s grounded, useful take on geosocial/geospatial information.