Foursquare is a popular location-based social media application that allows people to check in at a variety of businesses and venues. Promoting a music venue on Foursquare can be particularly effective if you think like your target audience, and offer promotions that are relevant to this group.

Here are some tips to help you get started on Foursquare, followed by some marketing ideas specifically geared toward promoting a music venue on Foursquare.

Claim Your Venue

Claim Your Venue on Foursquare

How to Promote Your Music Venue on Foursquare

Before you can promote your music venue and engage with your target audience, you’ll first need to claim your venue on Foursquare. Foursquare members regularly add new venues to the platform. So, start by searching for your venue to see if it’s already listed on Foursquare. If you find it, claim it.

If you can’t find it, create your venue, and then claim it. Foursquare must verify that you are the appropriate person to claim the venue, and this process can take up to a week (or longer). Make sure you claim your venue well in advance of any upcoming performance you intend to promote.

Be Active

Be Active on Foursquare

Don’t just claim your venue on Foursquare and then call it a day. Be active on the platform. Make sure your venue page is useful and provides more than just your address and phone number.

Add tips, upload photos, and create an experience for Foursquare members looking for places to see live music. Getting your employees to participate in your Foursquare strategy can also be very effective. They are the people at the front lines of your venue, so encourage your staff to upload their own relevant photos, tips, and stories.

Integrate with Facebook, Twitter, and Other Outposts

Integrate With Facebook Twitter and Other Outposts

Make sure your Foursquare updates are also published to Facebook, and Twitter. Link your Twitter account and your Facebook Page in the “Settings” section of your Foursquare account.

You can also mention your Foursquare account on outposts like your music venue blog, YouTube, and so on. Make it easy for people to find your venue, and see your updates, no matter which social media sites they’re using.

Create Specials

Create Foursquare Specials

Foursquare Specials is a feature that enables you to create special promotions and offers for your followers on Foursquare. Specials are a great way to attract first-time visitors to your music venue, increase repeat visits, and boost spending while customers are at your location.

Foursquare offers two types of specials to boost existing customer visits and purchases. The Loyalty Special offers an incentive, such as a discount, after a customer visits your venue a specified number of times. This special can be particularly effective for fans of bands that you book regularly at your venue.

The Mayor Special rewards your most frequent visitor (by number of Foursquare check-ins over the past 60 days) with a special incentive. Heavy Foursquare users enjoy the competitive element of the Mayor Specials, so be sure to reward your “mayor” with a special that he or she can brag about later on.

Foursquare also offers five types of specials targeted to attracting new customers:

  • Check-in Special: Available at every check-in or when certain conditions are met.
  • Newbie Special: Available the first time a user checks in at your venue.
  • Flash Special: Available on a first-come, first-served basis until a set number of check-ins are reached.
  • Swarm Special: Available when a specific number of people visit your venue within a specific window of time.
  • Friends Special: Available when a Foursquare member, and a specific number of his or her Foursquare friends, check in at your venue at the same time.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your specials. Remember that your target audience is made up of music fans, so things like band swag will always be popular with this group. Also, consider creative ways to motivate consumers to do more than simply check in at your venue to unlock a special. For example, require people to check in and upload a photo of the lead singer, or find a specific item (like a guitar pick) in order to qualify for the special.

Crowdsource Content and Buzz

Crowdsource Your Foursquare Promotion

Foursquare is getting more social every day. New features, like notifications and lists, give people more ways to share information about venues and specials.

Use your Foursquare venue as a place for customers to publish music reviews (using “Tips”), and to share first-hand experiences through photos. Increase the chances of crowd participation by tying in a special, such as “Share a tip and get a free drink,” or “Publish a photo and get 10% off your bill.”

Have you promoted a music venue on Foursquare? Share your experiences in the comments below.

[Image credits: pushbeyond, Thomas Hawk, Mike Sheehan, , Luc Viatour, PeterTea, kwazy]