Tutorial: How to Create FourSquare Special for Business

I envy people in a place where a lot of business establishments reward their customers by just flashing their smartphone displays at the counter and get something special. Most of small businesses around, and sometimes big ones, lacks this feature for their own reasons.

But in these fast paced technology driven times in the season of “how-f*ckin-much-it-that-again?”, it really makes sense having a “FourSquare Special” at your businesses doors by attracting future customers outside checking-in on their smartphones.

Foursquare Special is an offer that is significant to new visitors or loyal customers to your business which they can obtain by “checking-in” on their FourSquare account when they visit you and unlock badges that corresponds to rewards that you can customize. Be it a mobile coupon, prizes, discounts… you name it, we dig it. lol

FourSquare Special not only benefits customers but it also benefits business owners by creating an extra allurement to get customers to stop by and get exposure to public for free.

Here’s how it can be created in about 10 minutes for free:

  • Create a business account and claim your venue.

You can start creating a foursquare account here. I suggest you create another account aside from your personal account as it provides extra privacy. Then, claim your venue by searching it in foursquare. Once you’ve found your venue, click the “claim here” button at the top right of the page. In some cases, you’ll find that there are multiple duplicates of your venue but its best to choose the one with most “check-ins” as you can request that duplicates be merged later.

  • Create a Special

After claiming your venue, go back to foursquare homepage and follow these in order:

Click on “Manager Tools” > Click on “Campaigns” > Click on “Start a Campaign” > Click on “Add a Special”

You can now freely choose from seven different types of specials:

Swarm Special is where you can reward large group or a specified number of people for checking in. You can set the frequency of unlocks so that you can control the quantity of product to be given away at specified time.

Friends Special is a reward given to a group of friends checking in at the same time. Unlike in the swarm special, this group of people should all be connected in foursquare to be rewarded.

Flash Special is just like a flash sale as it runs out when specified check-ins already exceeded at a first come first served basis. This is a great way to invite much more visitors or customers to your establishment during off peak hours.

Newbie Special rewards first time visitors of your store. A 10% discount or a free parking space would be sufficient for as long as you made your first timers feel appreciated the first time they set foot on your store. Remember – First impressions lasts.

Check-in Specials are random rewards given to every customers checking in, thats if you’ve got such balls to do it! A 10% discount for every 10 customer checking-in could mean 1 item less on your inventory.

Loyalty special is an offering for every specified check-in intervals. A customer can take advantage of an offer on their 1st, 5th, 7th and so forth depending on your preferred intervals.

Mayor Special rewards the most frequent visitor to your venue over the past 60 days.


By now I suppose that you’re already familiar with the specials. All you need to is to click the special you’d like to set and determine the fields that will require people to unlock the special.

  • Customize your Special

Customize your special by writing the text of the offer. I suggest to keep it short, sweet and simple =). Click next step once done and you’ll be given the “Fine Print” options wherein you can type additional disclaimers or reminders. Hit “Create Special” afterwards.

  • Choose the venues and Activate the Special

You will be taken back once again to the campaign screen where you can click “choose venues” button and choose any location or venue that you’d like your special to be activated. Once done click on “Activate Special” button and you’re done! All you need to do now is to wait for at least 24 hours for the FourSquare team to approve your request.

  • Let your crews know about it

Lastly, let your crews and employees know about your special offers. You can start by showing them which special offer is active for a customer as shown on the image above and later on, orient them about your set of policies that should always be applied to your offers.

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