Using Social Media for Business

Here’s an interesting case study on how a restaurant owner was using social media for his business.

If you are a local business owner, don’t underestimate the power of location-based services like Foursquare.

If you are a brick-and-mortar business, Foursquare should definitely be a part of your social media toolbox.

Good news: Foursquare recently introduced business pages that allow even businesses / brands without a store-front to be part of its services. Check it out here:

Amplify’d from

How do you attract a flash mob of 150+ people to your restaurant?  Offer the possibility of a Foursquare Swarm Badge, of course!

Last week, restaurant owner Joe Sorge attracted 161 Foursquare users at the same time to his burger joint in Milwaukee, AJ Bombers (pretty impressive considering there are approximately only 300-400 total Foursquare users in the area).  Even more impressive is the fact that the restaurant more than doubled its typical Sunday sales, with an increase of 110% that day.

AJ Bombers Swarm Badge

So how did he do it?  If you haven’t heard, Foursquare is a location-based mobile app that has been growing in popularity. Using the service, people “check in” at locations and earn badges based on a variety of factors, including frequency of check-ins, etc.  In order to attract people to his restaurant to raise money for the Milwaukee Social Media Community to host an event at popular interactive conference South by Southwest (SXSW), Joe promoted the possibility of restaurant-goers earning the coveted Swarm Badge, which is awarded to users who check in at a location where over 50 other users are checked into at the same time. As a result, the restaurant raised over $500 toward the SXSW meetup.

This case study is a great example of business owners harnessing the power of social media sites and applications to attract customers.  It’s also testament to the growing power of location-based mobile applications.  Joe paid attention to his customers to learn more about them, discovered their growing interest in Foursquare, then did his research about how he could take advantage of the new trend.  The result was a carefully and successfully implemented promotion that afforded him new customers and additional buzz (and — you guessed it — the opportunity to create more content).

The lesson here is simple: Using social media for business works.  Stay on top of and understand the latest trends, and most importantly — be creative!  Think about innovative ways you can use these applications to generate traffic to your website and/or your physical store.  See a complete foursquare badge list to come up with your own badge promotion ideas.


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