First I have to say that I rather enjoy using Foursquare. Badges are fun and sometimes irreverent. I’ve even made real-world connections due to checking in with it. One such instance even lead to a job interview. Pretty cool.

So, on to the point. Being a mayor of a happening spot is a cool, right? But what does it really mean? From the business owner’s standpoint, is rewarding the person who holds this coveted spot the right way to use geolocation apps to grow your business? Perhaps, in some instances. I’ve seen an eatery that lets their mayor skip the long line to eat. Perhaps it increases the reward for checking in. Ben & Jerry’s did this be giving the mayor an extra scoop on top of a 3 scoop for $3 Foursquare check-in promo.

My thought is that if you reward just the mayor, you exclude all but the most extreme users of geolcation apps. That is a small niche of  an already small niche.

What are some other ways a business can leverage geolocation apps?

  • The obvious, reward anyone who checks-in with a discount or some other perk
  • Offer a perk to users on their first check-in
  • Many geolocation users are on Twitter. Connect with them there when they check-in
  • Encourage users to “Shout” about you
  • Find out how your business stacks up on foursquare with tools like this one from
  • Own your venue. Most geolocation apps allow the business owner to verify the listing. This will help if there is missing or incorrect information
  • Let the patrons know you are part of the geolocation scene. Many apps let you create signage that tells patrons they can check-in here
  • Add tips for users close to your location to find. These can be about anything, but make sure they are useful
  • Consider using other apps. I find SCVNGR to have a LOT of potential. With it you can reward users for just about anything!

None of these are likely to change things overnight, but as this trend grows, being consistent and early to the game will certainly move the needle.