Foursquare Ads: Worth It For Your Business?

foursquare logo

Foursquare, the popular check-in app for smartphones, recently started rolling out ad placements for small local establishments. The new ads display in the app’s “Explore” tab and in the results when users search for similar local venues.

The good news is, you don’t pay unless someone visits your business’s Foursquare page through the ad or actually checks into your business – visiting in person.

But is it worth for your business spending money on?

The Good

Foursquare’s ads power up location-based mobile marketing, which can be tough for a small business to execute on its own. Foursquare’s ads make it super simple to target people where they are and when they’re looking for you.

According to Foursquare’s research, 78% of all people who search locally make purchases based on their search.

That’s awesome some marketing power.

The Bad

Foursquare claims 30 billion users worldwide, but there’s debate about how active those users really are – especially since Foursquare won’t release the number of truly active users. And don’t forget about Yelp, which also has a mobile app and local ad placements when users search for establishments.

Plus, Yelp has the power of reviews behind them. As a consumer looking for a new restaurant to try out, would you rather know where a handful of your friends hang out all the time? Or which restaurant gave 100 locals an awesome dining experience?

With Foursquare’s ad service, it’s possible you’ll be budgeting for advertising that not a lot of people see.

On the flip side, your ads may not be highly viewed, but those who view them are likely to be active respondents. So, are Foursquare ads worth it for your business?

If You Decide In Favor Of Foursquare Ads…

You can make the most of them by tying your Foursquare presence with your email campaign.

Create a segment of your local email subscribers and send them emails when you change your check-in special. That should increase their visits to your business.

create a segment

Since Foursquare ads are targeted based on venues the app thinks a user will like, if your subscribers are checking into your venue, that will increase the chances of your ad showing to their friends who aren’t your customers yet.

What do you think? Will you try Foursquare ads for your business?


  1. Randall Magwood

    8/19/2013 12:54 pm

    I think Foursquare would be awesome for the barber shop i consult for. I’m trying to get the owner to expand from direct mail and internet marketing… to social media and mobile marketing. I think this could be a great opportunity for him.

  2. Rick

    8/20/2013 1:45 pm

    I think you meant Foursquare boasts 30 million users…not billion.

  3. dare khuji

    8/22/2013 9:54 am


    I quite agree with Randall, the use of Foursquare will serve so much advantage considering its local geographical location.

    Secondly, users get value for their money because, it is only when they actually visit the page that payment is deducted.

    Its area of strength will lie basically on the local search concept.


  4. Jonathan Pollinger

    8/26/2013 9:11 am

    It’s a great concept and perhaps a bit ‘ahead of the game’. I’m not sure there are enough Foursquare users to give it real traction for a small business in the UK yet, although it could be beneficial in London and other big cities. I’ve set up an ad as an experiment in Cheltenham for one of my workshops so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.

  5. Tommy

    11/22/2013 10:59 am

    You have remarked very interesting points! ps nice site

  6. sarah

    2/23/2014 8:45 pm

    I never heard that foursquare ads? This is give me new information, thanks