How brands without physical locations are using Foursquare / by Mike Takahashi

Foursquare Logo

One of the great things that I love about Foursquare are the tips that people leave for restaurants and venues. When trying a new restaurant, one of the first things I do is check and see what food tips people have left. If you like a tip you can also "like" it. Think of it as the “Like” button for Facebook, but on Foursquare.  Tips are also listed by the number of likes, with the highest at the top.

So when I decided to check-in to Urth Caffe in Santa Monica recently, I noticed one particular tip that had over 800 likes. However, it wasn’t from a person. It was from a brand. Not just any brand - it was Bravo. They had leveraged their TV personality Patti Stanger from the show Millionaire Matchmaker to endorse Urth Caffe by leaving a tip.

Urth Caffe tip by Bravo

Brilliant. Here’s a brand with no physical location, taking advantage of Foursquare, and its working. Bravo isn't the only one taking advantage of this platform. The History channel and many other brands are doing this quite aggressively. Check-in to any historic landmark or tourist attraction, and odds are you’ll see a tip left by them.

Here’s a tip for Balboa Park in San Diego.

Balboa Park tip by the History Channel

The best part of all this is that it’s absolutely free, at least for the moment. If Foursquare was smart, they could start to monetize this in a similar way Twitter does with promoted trends. Foursquare could offer brands an opportunity to be the first promoted tip for a particular venue.

In case you were wondering, Twitter now charges $120,000 a day for promoted trends.