Foursquare Implements Paid Ads with Promoted Updates Feature

Foursquare, a private company based in New York City, specializes in helping mobile consumers announce their locations to social media and their friends. More importantly, Foursquare provides the tools for mobile users to discover new places to visit. The places it helps people discover are new restaurants, movie theaters, cafes, bars, parks, stores, and just about anything else you can think of. Today Foursquare announced the implementation of “Promoted Updates” for this very service.

So What Are Promoted Updates?

Foursquare users utilize a popular aspect of the Foursquare app called “Explore.” This is what Foursquare users go to when they want to discover new places based on their check-ins and other places they often frequent. The Explore Tab has become increasingly popular with Foursquare users as Jennifer Van Grove explains, “The recommendation engine [Explore] is fueled by member check-ins, tips, likes, lists, and so forth.”

Foursquare is combining the powerful algorithm of the explore tab with the new Promoted Updates feature. This new “Promoted Updates” feature allows businesses to essentially pay for highly targeted ads. Lauren Indvik over on Mashable reports, “The ads are designed to target users whose friends frequently stop by, who have added that venue to one of their Foursquare lists, or who are often visiting similar venues in that neighborhood.”

Why Promoted Updates is a Genius Move for Foursquare

The best part about this advertising model for Foursquare is that these ads are highly relevant to consumers. Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare’s chief revenue officer, was quoted saying, “What we’re really excited about is that you have to be near a business to get an update […] No matter how much someone pitches us, it has to be relevant, based on proximity and based on intent. Those are critical.” This perspective to the “Promoted Updates” demonstrates a solid understanding of the modern consumer.

Modern consumers are getting tired of advertising that’s just thrown at them. There’s no relevancy to their busy lives and they don’t have time for it anymore. So, here we have Foursquare rolling out a plan that allows businesses to send targeted, relevant announcements and advertisements to its 20 million users. Think about that for a second. That’s a very significant and brilliant move for the company. It’s also smart advertising for businesses that jump on board.

If you’ve been following Andrew’s posts and read yesterday’s post on the CEM Blog concerning Facebook, you know the company has been having an interesting time figuring out ways to turn generate revenue. The problem is especially apparent with its mobile platform. Yet here we have Foursquare with a fraction of the users and they just hit the nail on the head when it comes to that.

What’s Your Plan?

Things are changing in the world of advertising and marketing and they have been for some time. The Internet is driving much of that. Companies are being forced to adapt and think of some wonderfully creative ways to generate revenue and bring in more customers.

Are you planning for how you and your business will implement some of these strategies you’ve been reading about? There are proven ways for large and small businesses alike to expand their customer base. You don’t have to be a multi-million dollar company with 20 million customers to reap the benefits of spending your marketing and advertising dollars online! Content Marketing, for example, is a great, affordable way to join the modern marketing world and more importantly, get results you want.

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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