If your business has (or should have) a business profile page on Foursquare, it’s more important now than ever — from both an SEO and reputation perspective — to claim that page and stake control over it. Because, as the About Foursquare blog has posted, those pages now include fields for your web site URL and a business description. There are several marketing implications, especially because you’re not the only person who can edit them.
Who Can Edit My Foursquare Business Listing?
Any business owner who claims her listing can edit it. But you’re not alone in that power. Any Foursquare “Super User” who happens to be the mayor of your business can also edit the profile. Foursquare hasn’t been adding new super users for some time now, but many users who’ve been on the site for a year or more have that designation.
I don’t use Foursquare a ton, but I’m a Super User. So, when I visit the profile page of the nearby pizza place where I’m the mayor, I see an “Edit Venue” link at the top that regular users and non-Mayors don’t see.
Foursquare created “super users” to help clean up the messy business and geo-data that was (and often still is) in its system. Just today, for example, I discovered that there are four separate listings for my local airport. One is plenty.
As a super user, when I click that “Edit Venue” link, I get a form with all the existing business data — and those two new fields: Website and Description.
There’s an obvious trust thing going on here; Foursquare trusts me not to abuse this. And I won’t. But there’s nothing to stop the next super user from messing with some business where s/he’s the mayor. Perhaps not likely, but it’s possible.
So, I cleaned up this listing — provided the exact street address and added both the URL and a short description (300 characters max). Saved my edits and right away, there they are on Sahara Pizza’s Foursquare page.
Implications for Local Marketing
There are several:
1. Google Places is still crawling Foursquare as a citation source. Adding a URL and description is a good opportunity to maximize the power of that citation.
2. It’s a good inbound link to your web site.
3. Just because Foursquare trusts super users not to screw around doesn’t mean you should, too. Control your reputation here. Write what you want to say in that brief description field. Make sure the link points where you want it to … maybe your home page, or maybe a special page just for Foursquare users.
(Note: I don’t know if super users are allowed to edit pages that have been claimed by the business owner. I would hope not, but don’t know for certain.)
4. Claimed listings just look better on Foursquare.
Foursquare is not for everyone. Plumbers, contractors, dog walkers, and plenty of other small businesses that go to the customers don’t have a place on Foursquare — you need a physical location and you have to want people to come to it.
But if Foursquare is for you, go find your business page and look for the link in the upper right that invites you to claim it.