Using Social Media: Strengthen Your Employer Brand with FourSquare

A few weeks ago I started a series called 10 Easy Ways to Build Social Media Into Your HR Practice.  Since then I’ve shared some specifics on the ideas I suggested.  These ideas are written with beginners in mind because there are so many professionals who are hesitant to jump into using social platforms for business.  I want to show that it can be easy when you start with small steps.  Today, we’re going to cover a few ways you can use FourSquare or location based apps at your organization

First, what is FourSquare?  FourSquare is a free tool for your smartphone that allows you to connect more easily with businesses in your area (or wherever you are) as well as your friends.     Launched publicly in spring 2009, it has grown to a community of over 20 million users globally.  There are more than 750,000 merchants already using FourSquare to connect as well.

With this app, you can easily search for businesses nearby, find their locations and any “specials” that they are currently offering.  Users who have been to that business before may post tips about the business so you will know if a restaurant has good food or prices, if service is poor, etc.  You can also use it as a tool to show you what your friends are up to and if they are nearby.  For example, I recently arrived at an airport in another city and checked in on FourSquare.  It showed me other people who were checked in, one of whom I was friends with that I didn’t realize was having a layover in the same airport at the same time.  It was nice to connect with that person.

Another use is to take advantage of specials that businesses offer.  On a recent trip to Napa, I was able to gain big discounts at several wineries, restaurants and spas all by checking in on FourSquare.  I’ve also use it at the mall, right at the checkout, to save as much as 30% off my bill at certain stores.

STRENGTHEN YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND WITH FOURSQUARE

From the standpoint of using it for your organization, there are ways you can encourage and even reward your employees for helping strengthen your employer brand.

  • Make sure that your organization, or each of the locations, is listed on FourSquare.
  • Encourage employees to “check in” each day when they arrive at work.  This will help them connect with other employees and even with customers, if you have the type of business where customers come onsite.
  • Encourage employees to leave “Tips” on why it’s great to work there.
  • Have your recruiters or HR professionals leave “Tips” on jobs that are available or other positive information about your company.

Once you have your employees checking in and leaving tips, you can easily set up rewards to acknowledge the ones who use it the most, who share the most productive and relevant data, etc.  In my previous job in healthcare HR, I would often check in and see customers (patient families) who had checked in multiple days.  It was a good way for me to reach out to them to introduce myself and tell them about resources available to them that could make their stay a little easier.  I could also refer them to our guest services group to help them with any needs they had while on the premises.  Lastly, you can reward your frequent customers by offering special discounts for those that check in most often.  It’s a win for your company and a win for the customer.

Are you using FourSquare?  Do you use it to promote your business?  Share your tips and ideas in the comments please.