The world has gone mobile! The smart phone has changed the way people educate themselves and now companies are using location-based services like foursquare, yelp and urbanspoon to build buzz, track reviews and offer special deals while the user is at their establishment. It’s called Location-Based Marketing and it builds loyalty while spreading the word to people that meet your demographic.


foursquare is a free mobile app that makes a game of locations that you visit. Every place you go, you check in to let friends know where you are and what you are doing. You can also look to see what your friends and others nearby are doing. Users can submit pictures, offer tips on the best products and make recommendations.

The advantage for businesses is that foursquare has built a merchant platform that allows the business to quantify how people interact with foursquare in respect to their business. You can make specials for new customers and loyalty specials that will keep them coming back. Whether you offer a discount with a purchase or give something away for free, foursquare users get excited and share your business with friends! Loyalty specials can be set for something free once they reach a certain number of visits.

foursquare is a great way to increase traffic and push sales higher!


Yelp is a website or mobile app that allows users to review your business. Originally most popular for restaurants, there is now almost every type of business. They have also introduced events into the mix. In fact, Yelp will work with a business to throw a “get to know the owner” party to introduce yelpers to your business.

Yelp can be a powerful tool to spread the word about your business, but can also alert you to service issues. If someone has a negative experience at your business, you are alerted and can move to fix the problem. The combination of reviews and events have built a strong hoard of yelpers, ones that can spread your story!


Urbanspoon is another review website. This one is pretty much focused on food. Whether you are a greasy spoon or a fine dining establishment, Urbanspoon will have feedback you will want. It is important to be aware of the way your customers perceive you. We recommend that a restaurant at least check the site on a regular basis, so that issues can be resolved quickly, before creating a negative image of your business.

facebook Offers

You can think of facebook Offers as a coupon offered through the facebook stream and on the Business Page. When a user claims an Offer, an email is sent to the user which they bring to you to redeem the discount. How much did it cost to print that last run of coupons in the insert you advertised in? The cost on your facebook page…$0!

facebook Deals

A facebook Deal is a special offer to mobile patrons when they check in at your establishment. It only shows up through the facebook mobile app, so only the people who have decided to visit you will be offered the special. You can make Deals for individuals, both new and existing, which is great when you want to move product that might be getting near expiration. You can offer a Friend Deal which allows everyone at a table to enjoy the discount; it also generates more buzz online. For those that are regulars, you can offer a Loyalty Deal, which require a certain number of check-ins to get the Deal. The final way you can use Deals is to make a Charity Deal. A Charity Deal will make a donation to your charity of choice. It’s a great way to publicly support community groups!

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