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Foursquare is a location based service (LBS) for your mobile and at the same time its a social network. In the past 12 months Foursquare has grown in popularity to possibly be the biggest Geo Location Based Social Network in the UK – well at least in London.

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Foursquare (the name is from a school yard game played in the USA) started about 2 years back and has apps for iPhone, Android & BlackBerry … this is a free business directory where every listing was added by a customer or a visitor to that shop. The directory is curated and looked after by members who can suggest updates, flag duplicate entries and more.

Foursquare for any business is a new marketing channel, allowing the store owner or manager to add special offers such as ‘free coffee for the 10th checkin (visitor) today’. These types of offers are becoming very popular with social media marketing people like myself and agencies developing ideas and campaigns for brands.

As the business listing is free and originally entered by a visitor to your store, you, the business owner or your social media community manager need to go through a process to claim your listing on Foursquare before you can offer any specials. However you can at least correct a few things, like the store location (if the Geo Location Map pointer is in the wrong place). Most of this editing is done from your PC and the main website.

The number of UK & US users has grown to the point where most popular places are now found in the listings directory – so you shouldn’t have to worry too much. Outside of the big cities, there is a good chance this information still has to be added.

Social Media & Foursquare is worth the effort, recommendations, reviews and tips will become increasingly popular. Already Twitter & Facebook are working on their Geo Location Based tools.

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