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@foursquare revamps Merchant Platform with 3.0

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As foursquare continues to expand and upgrade, the location-based social network is stepping up efforts to court businesses and their customers with an overhaul of the foursquare Merchant Platform

According to the company’s blog, businesses will find that foursquare 3.0 offers improved analytics, and a variety of new “Specials” — Friends, Flash, Swarm, Newbie — that are aimed at attracting new customers.

The Friends and Swarm specials find strength in numbers, mining the “more the merrier” sentiment: Customers can check in with friends or a large group and get a deal. Playing to the “me first” instinct are the Flash Specials, offers for the first players checking in after a certain time. The seemingly standard Newbie Specials are for first-time check-ins, and then there’s the plain-vanilla Check-In Special that may not be limited to first-time check-ins. For businesses looking to reward existing customers, merchants can still offer Mayor Specials, as well as Loyalty Specials (e.g. “Free coffee after 10th visit!”).

The post announcing the new specials has some very cool examples of what businesses are doing, as well as a sneak peek of the new dashboard. At the time of this writing, the post had 13 comments, including one that succinctly declares the platform upgrades as “cool.” Foursquare’s leaders at can rest easy now.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: As a marketing student interested in social media’s role in promotion, I record specials that I see when I check in on foursquare. For me, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers, which merchants are catching on — and which ones aren’t. This project is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line and foursquare offer, here’s the post.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her clients'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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