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With businesses increasingly embracing social media and expanding their use of it, it's no surprise that they're eager to set up shop on the hottest social media hubs.

Facebook and Twitter have welcomed business users with open arms, and many companies are beating down Google's door in an effort to get the search giant to accelerate the roll-out of brand pages on Google+.

On Tuesday, one of the most popular location-based social media services, Foursquare, flipped the switch on self-serve Pages for brands and organizations in an effort to tap into the demand that's out there.

Already, 3,000 companies have a Foursquare Page. This includes major brands like MTV, Intel, The New York Times and Tiffany & Co. But up until Tuesday, the process for setting up a Foursquare Page was simplified, with companies being able to set up their own Pages without Foursquare's involvement.

As Foursquare sees it, its service offers some great opportunities for brands. With a Page, companies can "reach the whole foursquare community with...Tips and check-ins (and push those check-ins to both Facebook Pages and Twitter)." In an effort to make Page management easier for larger brands that may employ multiple community managers, Foursquare permits the creation of multiple 'manager' accounts.

So should companies bite?

Foursquare's popularity is on the rise, but it's nowhere near as popular as Facebook and Twitter. Foursquare, of course, both compliments and competes with both, raising the questions: is Foursquare really a necessity, and is it a good bet?

Given that Foursquare's service is centered on the concept of the 'check-in', Foursquare is naturally going to appeal to consumer-facing businesses that have physical locations (think restaurants, retailers, etc.). For businesses that don't deal with consumers, or that operate entirely online, the value of a Foursquare Page is less clear.

In either case, given the demand for business-oriented offerings on services like Foursquare, the company's new self-serve offering should be good news for smaller companies and companies that don't want to spend a substantial amount of time trying to gain approval for a Foursquare Page.

Patricio Robles

Published 4 August, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2429 more posts from this author

Comments (4)

Ruben Martinez

Ruben Martinez, Marketing and SEO at Paradigma Tecnológico

All competition in geo social networking is welcome!

The self-service is a way of making small business work for Foursquare, why not?

over 5 years ago

Alexander Lund

Alexander Lund, Digital Marketing Manager at Study Group

About time they did this. Will it have the option for businesses to add your own deals or discounts for checking in?

over 5 years ago

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Lace Llanora

Hi Patricio,

I see how Four Square is limited for businesses with physical stores and I think this is one venue where offline shops can step up to the social game.

Yes it doesn't quiet add up yet as how Four Square business page can be used to promote say online services, websites, and communities.

Lace

over 5 years ago

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Nick Stamoulis

"For businesses that don't deal with consumers...the value of a Foursquare Page is less clear."

I don't think Foursquare is for every business. Just like you mention, it works best for companies that deal face-to-face with their customers and those that rely on foot traffic to keep their doors open. I would like to see if there was a way to morph Foursquare so it could have more value for online business.

over 5 years ago

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