Local Yoke II: Not FourSquares
is a smartphone-based online location tracking service that offers
users the ability to announce their check-ins at various business
venues. It's like a real-time travel guidebook with complementary
ankle bracelet. (Like moving pictures where you don't have to read
anything? Me, too. FourSquare explains itself via a video
accessible at its Home page.) At base, FourSquare is a
business review site that tracks users' regular appearances at
various places (tantamount to consistent recommendations over time)
and that allows users to post "tips" respecting visited businesses
to their profiles/to those businesses' FourSquare pages. To
encourage regular check-ins, FourSquare makes something of a game
out of the whole thing: most check-ins at a location gets you
elected "mayor"; plus, you can win merit-style badges for certain,
site-defined activities and achievements. Businesses get into the
act, too, registering FourSquare venue pages, and tying promotions
and discounts to frequent check-ins. This
is how FourSquare imagines businesses will interact with its
Sound silly? So does Farmville, but it has over 45 million active
users. And, if you're on Facebook, you've been asked to adopt a
black sheep at one time or another.
So, while law firms may not be able to/want to use FourSquare in
all of its aspects:
- Will you be tying discounts to your clients' regular visits to
your office? Likely not.
- Will you be checking in at various hotspots when you're on
vacation? Perhaps not . . . not if you don't want your home robbed
and office ransacked while you're away.
- Will your criminal clients be regularly checking in online at
your office? Not likely. Unless you happen to be away on vacation .
FourSquare can be a useful local marketing tool for lawyers.
FourSquare's emphasis is distinctly on local search, wherever a
potential client is with a smartphone being the defined locality.
You can simply add or claim your business as a FourSquare venue (do
it here), so that you can make and track check-ins
and tips, generally and by using FourSquare's free analytics tools.
And, beyond the smartphone tether, FourSquare venues even show up
in Google and Bing local search results.
In an increasingly micro-mobile society, it's not difficult to
imagine the scenario in which someone with a smartphone is close to
the neighborhood of your office, and, at that moment, decides to
search FourSquare for some iteration of "real estate lawyer." GPS
grabs the location, and your office comes up in a list of
FourSquare venues. And, hey, your potential client's chiropractor
once used your firm, and offered a positive tip on the experience.
That potential client has just become far more likely to utilize
your services, merely because all you did was make yourself
available on FourSquare.
Get hip to be FourSquare.
Tip courtesy of Jared Correia, Law Practice Management
Office Management Assistance Program.
Published April 7, 2011
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