Advertising on Foursquare: Foursquare for business | Articles

Foursquare was launched in 2009 as an entertaining check-in app. Today, Foursquare has over 50 million users, more than 8 billion check-ins worldwide and includes more than 1,3 million business pages. In the last couple of years, it has evolved into an engine to discover new places with recommendations from a community that you trust.

The biggest part of the users are between 18 and 29 years old and want to discover new places and share their experiences with other people.

You are probably not always aware of it, but people are having a conversation about you online. Consumers can leave tips and photos about your business and share these with other Foursquare users. The most important thing to realise is that you can be a part of that conversation. Using Foursquare, you can listen to what your customers are saying about your business, or you  can use Foursquare’s tools to join their conversation, and learn from consumers feedback.

Advantages of advertising on Foursquare

Do you have a restaurant, a shop, a bar or another local business? And you want to promote it in a new and engaging way? To do this kind of advertising in an efficient way you have to reach the right people at the right time. Advertising on Foursquare is the ideal partner for that, it targets your ideal customer, which are in your neighbourhood, who are searching for similar businesses to yours. With Foursquare ads you can reach out to these people and you can convince them to visit your business and not your competitors.

Overall, Foursquare is much better than other advertising because people don’t like to listen to a business talking about themselves, however, experiences of other customers with your business are well-liked.

Furthermore, next to ads, there are some Foursquare specials: you can reward your customers for choosing to visit your business, e.g. you can offer them a free appetizer when you order dinner, offer a discount for drinks during happy hour, give them an upgrade to the front row, etc.

People are using their mobile phones to browse and to connect with businesses more than ever. Consumer behavior is becoming more and more mobile-first, as more people rely on their mobile phone to search and make decisions on the go.

Foursquare has a support center where you can turn to for answers to frequently asked questions or to get in touch with their support team. The support is only available in English at this time. You can also contact their sales team directly.

Use Foursquare Analytics to learn more about the customers coming through your door, get to know your customers, look for patterns and opportunities, get to know who’s visiting your business each week, who’s visiting for the first time,… Your analytics are always available on your manager homepage.

How to advertise on Foursquare?

Foursquare offers 3 different types of ads:

  1. Promoted places: to drive traffic. You can locally promote your locations to possible customers, when they’re searching for places to go on Foursquare
  2. Place based ads: to talk to customers when and where it’s relevant. You can reach consumers across Foursquare and Swarm (their sister company) when they’re in the neighbourhood
  3. Foursquare audience network: to increase your reach. You’re able to connect with people based on their daily activities

Foursquare ads are very simple to set up. You can write a custom message or you can turn a great customer tip into an ad, which can be very powerful and trustworthy. Then you can add the maximum amount of money you want to spend and you’re all set.

You can start or stop your ads on Foursquare any time you want. Below you can find 4 different steps to set up a Foursquare ad:

  1. Select your business and your location
  2. Validate your ownership by entering your phone number
  3. Add a debit or credit card to your account and you’ll be charged once with a fee of $20 to verify you are the owner.
  4. Claim your business and then you get access to Foursquare’s Business tool.

Are ads on Foursquare expensive?

No. Your business is present on Foursquare for free. But, like most social or digital platform, you can extend the conversation with paid ads.

Next to your organic business page,  you pay per  interaction on your ad, this can be people who are searching for your business information, like your address or phone number, the tips and photos other people left,…

Unfortunately, these paid ads are not available in Belgium yet. But the organic business pages are free to use in any country.


If you want to grow your business and reach existing and new customers at the right time and place, Foursquare might be what you are looking for. It is relatively cheap and easy to set up. On top, it is a perfect tool to learn more about your customers and you can control the information on your business listing.

Author: Eline Mallien


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