How to: Use Foursquare

Some of us remember Foursquare as being a popular game at recess where four players would play ball inside of a larger square which was then divided into four smaller squares.  The object of the game was to keep the ball in play by bouncing the ball within the other players’ squares until eventually players were eliminated.

Today’s version of Foursquare has a much different meaning.  Foursquare is a social media application that is accessible by web and mobile phones it’s where users check in, letting their followers know where they are.  These updates can then be posted on your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Updates are also called “pings” when used on the popular iPhone application.

Foursquare is a fun application because it turns the simple check in process into a competition.  Users are able to earn badges and other accolades for checking in often and from different places.  In the fourth quarter of 2010 Foursquare recently added a feature that tells users how many days they are away from being appointed a “Mayor”.

Foursquare’s launch in 2009 was quite modest with a very limited usage area that included approximately 100 metropolitan areas.  They went on to upgrade their model in January 2010 that moved them into the worldwide usage arena.  Foursquare reports that there are over half a million users on their network as of March 2010.  Growth has been tremendous for the Foursquare network.

Web users can use Foursquare from the browser of their choosing.  For smart phone users there are applications available on the iPhone, Windows Phone 7, Android, BlackBerry and webOS systems.

The newest version of Foursquare was launched in September of 2010.  This version expands the application.  Instead of simply checking in, it also directs the user to new locations and also may introduce the user to some new activities.  This is especially fun if you are a tourist visiting an unknown area.  This is also a great tool if you are moving to a new neighborhood.

Foursquare is quite the upgrade from the local Yellow Pages.  Foursquare not only leads you to new places in a new city, state or neighborhood but it also offers some opinions and reviews of some of the natives.

There are several different badges that a user can earn on Foursquare.  There are badges that are pretty general; then there are ones that are specific to cities, events or even specific venues.  There is no clear guide on how to earn these badges.  Download the application and start checking in today and see how many accolades you can earn.

How many badges have you accomplished on Foursquare?


Karriann GrafGuest blogger Karriann Graf is a Social Media Manager and Strategist for small businesses and real estate professionals. Her focus is to help you learn about the best Social Media methods to connect with your clients and customers and increase your revenue. Please visit her site and follow her on Twitter.

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