I had a great conversation this morning with a VP of Marketing at a national chain and the discussion turned to something that all businesses involved with #4sqday need to be aware of and address, the educating of staff on how to “check” a customer’s check-in on Foursquare.
Players, if your new, it is always a challenge to remember to check in on Foursquare, well at least you have an idea that you’ve checked in, keep your check-in screen open to show the business that you checked in when you get there, Keep in mind that many of the participating businesses are still trying to figure out how to prepare their staff for the day, go easy on them and reward them with some kind words when you check-in.
Everyone should be prepared, what if Foursquare goes down, I went out for lunch today and had trouble checking in, I imagine Friday will be a day that will truly test Foursquare, Businesses and players alike need to be patient with each other. Businesses, if the site is down, the player can still show you that they tried to check in, I would then still honor the special, you can always ask them to tweet their check-in. Players, if you check in Friday, let it Tweet, these businesses deserve a little shout out for all that they are doing to make this day awesome.
Have some fun with the day, if you have a tv/monitor that you can plug your computer into, consider opening your venue’s page on foursquare so you can identify players as they check in. If your traffic is low, don’t get discouraged; use this opportunity to get some of your regulars onboard, tell them about Foursquare and any future specials you dream up (Carrabba’s awards their mayors with free dessert). I believe there will be residual effect from this day as you are standing up and saying to the Foursquare community We recognize you, and they will recognize you back, jump at this opportunity and maintain that relationship. Consider setting that computer monitor to http://bit.ly/bing4sqmap (default is Tampa, you can reset for your area) This will show live Foursquare check-ins as they happen in the area, go ahead and try this, it really gives you an idea of Foursquare traffic in your area (be patient it appears to update live, so no one checking in means you wait till they do).
Users, if you check in and see others are checked in, don’t gawk, wave and say Hi or Foursquare?, we don’t want to be creeping each other out which can be easy when you appear to be looking on your phone and you keep looking at someone, instead be social, you might see each other again later at the Swarm party, familiar faces will make it that much more fun.
Remember you have resources to tap into, you can ask @4sqday for advice via twitter or contact Antony Francis at Head of Lettuce media for free assistance with 4SQDay preparation. Lastly don’t make social media a one time attempt, make this the beginning of your entry into the new medium, and take advantage of all it has to offer in building your business.