By Stacy Carter
Foursquare has been around for several years now, but it has been overshadowed by more popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Security issues are the major concern among Foursquare users, which is why it has become a less popular marketing tool these days. Despite the security risks involved in using Foursquare, Internet marketers and home-based business owners can creatively use Foursquare as a valuable tool to complement their online marketing strategies.
The security and privacy issues in using Foursquare arise, because the site is a location-based platform which allows its users to declare their location and make it visible to the public. For home-based Internet marketers, the potential risks can be serious as their location and whereabouts, can be easily tracked down whenever they log into their Foursquare account.
Here are 7 considerations for using Foursquare for Internet marketing without putting your business at risk.
1. Turn off your location setting
Promoting your business on Foursquare will involve checking in to your account more often. The system generates a tracking system in order to determine which user is the most frequent visitor of a particular business. The system will identify you as the “mayor” if you have the most check in history to a particular business. If you are the “mayor” of a particular business in Foursquare there is a high probability that you are the owner of this business. You can prevent others from identifying you as the business owner by simply turning off your location setting from the user setting page.
2. Do not integrate your Foursquare account to your personal social media accounts
You can mitigate the danger of location privacy risk by not integrating your Foursquare business account to your personal social media accounts. While it is tempting to promote your Foursquare account to your social media profiles, it is best to create a separate account for your business in other social media networks. When you integrate your Foursquare account in Facebook, other users can view your profile and can easily find which business in Foursquare you are the mayor of. It makes you an easy target for stalkers or even thieves who can monitor your whereabouts anytime through your Facebook profile that displays your location update in Foursquare.
3. Limit your friends’ access to your location check-ins
In your user settings in Foursquare, you can control who can view your real time check-ins. Foursquare does not passively track their users’ location. If you opt to turn off the location tracking system in your account, Foursquare will stop tracking your location in every check-in. On the other hand, if you don’t want to disable this feature completely, you can select just a number of friends in your circles who can view your location check-in.
4. Choose your options when sending out updates
In order to market your business more effectively, you need to send updates about your business publicly or to just selected people who already checked your business page. If your location privacy matters most to you, you can select from the available options of sending out updates but not reveal your current and actual location that can be viewed by the public. However, owing to the current settings of Foursquare, you need to indicate a location together with your update and you can creatively avoid giving away your current location by selecting a general location instead.
5. Track your Fousquare traffic
In order to know where you are in your Foursquare campaign, you have to keep track of your progress. Luckily, Foursquare has several tracking tools that will keep you updated on the amount and kind of traffic that you are getting. These tools offer a detailed description. This is going to be useful in determining the next course of your campaign. The tracking feature is also crucial in ensuring that you are secure while using Foursquare. As you are able to track where the traffic to your Foursquare page is coming from, you will be able to detect unwanted traffic. Foursquare also has a block feature that lets you choose which particular person to block out of your feeds. This is quite nifty for preventing spam posts from flooding your page as well.
6. Checking in off the grid when using Foursquare on mobile
If you want to browse and run your Foursquare campaign, but do not want to show your location, you can do so by checking in “off the grid.” All you need to do is uncheck the “tell my friends” option whenever you check in a particular place on Foursquare.
7. Removing your tracks
Foursquare keeps a list of the people who have checked places on the site. So even if you don’t display your location, people can still track where you have been. If you want to keep your movements a secret, you have to make it a habit to remove your name from those lists. Also, you have to delete all the Mayorships you have acquired from the places you have visited on the site. This can be a tedious process but helps significantly in protecting the privacy and location security of home-based internet marketers while using the Foursquare features to their market advantage.
Stacy Carter is a marketing director and SEO assistant. She contributes towards http://www.netspysoftware.com for 2 years. She loves writing about SEO, marketing and business things.