What is Foursquare and why is it important to IFAs? A Plain English Guide
Foursquare - the new way to find an IFA or Financial Planner online.
What is Foursquare?
Foursquare is the fast and exciting new way to find, review and recommend local businesses. Millions of people use Foursquare every day to help them explore cities, towns and villages via their phone or mobile device.
It’s like a cross between a directory of local businesses, a social networking tool and a review site – but with some cutting edge and fun technology thrown in which will help people to find an IFA or financial planner in their area.
Just as you have followers, friends and connections on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites – you can also connect with friends and business aquaintances on Foursquare and then notify them about great businesses and shops/services that you’ve visited.
Whether using Foursquare to check out a restaurant, hotel, pub, theatre or store – or searching for service providers and local businesses, you can share your activities and location with your network online.
In addition to using Foursquare to find local businesses, you can also leave tips for other people who might want to visit that business, restaurant or shop in the future. This means that people using Foursquare can potentially leave a tip or testimonial about your IFA or financial planning business.
Local users can save tips for future reference in their Foursquare ‘To-Do’ List. And every time they are near the venue where they saved a tip, they will be presented with a reminder on their mobile phone.
So how can Foursquare be of benefit to IFAs and Financial Planners?
Firstly, it’s important to remember that more people now visit the Internet via their mobile phone than through a fixed desktop PC or laptop. This means that mobile technology like Foursquare will inevitably be used by the thousands of people who search the Internet for an IFA every week.
So just as an IFA might be listed on industry websites such as unbiased.co.uk, mylocaladviser.co.uk and others, they now also need to be listed on Foursquare.
Tools like Foursquare make it quick and easy for people to find an IFA in their area – but also to view tips and testimonials about that IFA. And when your business is listed on Foursquare, the mobile App provides your contact details, a map and directions from the user’s current location.
What to do next
It's easy, but let's take it slowly.
Firstly, visit http://www.foursquare.com and sign up. You can also sign up via the Foursquare App for your mobile phone if you've already downloaded it.
Next, log in and search to see if your financial advice business is already listed on Foursquare. If not, add it yourself or contact IFA Life and we can help. If it is already listed, you may wish to ‘claim it’ as yours and there will be instructions as to how to do that. But it is not essential to claim it at this stage.
Although it's not essential in order for your IFA business to be listed on Foursquare, if you have any of the following mobile devices, download the Foursquare App if you have not already done so: iPhone, Symbian, Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7 or BlackBerry. For example, if you have an iPhone, you can download the Foursquare App from here or from the App Store in iTunes.
Once you’ve found or listed your business on Foursquare, that’s it - well done!
So far so good. You now know that your business is listed and people using Foursquare on their mobiles in your vicinity can potentially see your listing. Users can now leave a tip or testimonial on your listing for others to see. In short, if you’re not listed on Foursquare, you are missing out on the possibility of people knowing that you and your business are in the area.
Next - adding a tip or testimonial to your Foursquare listing
The next thing you need is to have a tip or testimonial about your business added to your listing. Tips are short and helpful. For example:
"Ask for John – it’s great to find a financial adviser who can explain pensions in plain English – highly recommended."
There are two ways to get a tip written about your business:
- Ask a client to leave a tip/testimonial (they will need to be using Foursquare)
- IFA Life can add a tip
IFA Life has a special partnership with Foursquare – in fact we were the first financial services brand in the world to do so. Our goal is to be the leading resource on Foursquare for people looking for local IFAs and financial planners.
- First: Go to http://www.foursquare.com/IFALife to follow us by clicking the big orange button.
- Then when you sign up to our simple listing service or Premium Membership of IFA Life, we will add a short tip or testimonial to your page on Foursquare – AND we'll add it to our own page. The tip can be one that you have written or perhaps one provided by a client.
Adding your tip to the IFA Life page has an additional and special benefit:
When people who are following IFA Life on Foursquare and who are using the App in the vicinity of your business, a message will pop up on their mobile phone telling them about your business! Although there are millions of businesses listed on Foursquare, the pop up message only appears for those that are listed on Foursquare partners’ pages – such as IFA Life's.
How to add your tip/testimonial to your page AND IFA Life's page on Foursquare:
- Either, sign up for Premium Membership (£100 pa incl. vat) on IFA Life and we'll contact you to explain what to do - click here
- Or, for a limited period only take advantage of our special single payment option of just £25 (incl. vat). Please pay safely and securely by credit/debit card using the button below. You may also pay from your PayPal balance. You will have the option to renew at the end of twelve months.
After receipt of your payment, we will contact you to expalin what to do next:
Click the button here to make your single payment: £25 incl. vat
When we receive notification that you have signed up for a listing, we will write to you with information on what to do next. If you haven't heard from us within a few hours, please contact admin[AT]ifalife.com.
Now that you’re on Foursquare – with or without a tip added to your page you can now enjoy Foursquare for yourself by making new connections and by ‘checking in’ to different businesses and venues. You can also leave tips and testimonials about businesses that you’ve visited.
And just for a bit of fun, Foursquare will ‘reward’ you with special badges the more you use the App – and some businesses or venues will also reward you with discount vouchers if you check in regularly to their store or shop.
So – enjoy using Foursquare as an exciting new social networking tool, but also sign up to have your tip/testimonial added to yours and our profile pages so that you can be visible to the increasing numbers of people who use mobile technology to search for local businesses and service providers – business like yours...
Questions before you sign up?
If you have any queries, please contact us: admin[AT]ifalife.com
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Author: Philip Calvert
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | 5:00:34 PM