Redeeming Foursquare special offers: my experience

Did you know that Foursquare collaborates with businesses to list official special offers on its venue pages? Yah, they do, and best of all, it’s free for businesses to participate.

The concept of real world businesses providing a tangible incentive to Foursquare users (who normally receive just a virtual reward) intrigued me, so I set out on a mission to redeem a few Foursquare special offers on my own.

Foursquare special offer redemption at Carrabba’s

My first experience occurred at Carrabba’s in Glendale, where I am, indeed, the not-so-mighty Mayor on Foursquare.

Upon checking in on the Foursquare Android app, I was greeted with a special offer screen that looked like the following image (taken from the Foursquare website).


Free dessert for the mayor? Yessir, I’ll take it, thankaverymuch.

I kept the foursquare special offer screen in focus on my Motorola Droid and set the phone aside for later.

After finishing our meal, I asked our waitress if she had heard of the Foursquare Mayor free dessert promotion. I then showed her the special offer info on my phone, but she had never heard of it. She said that she would have to get a manager, so we waited while she called a manager over to our table.

Getting shot down… sort of

When the manager arrived, she said something like “these kind of things always go up online and then Carrabba’s takes them down quickly and it’s probably a scam.”

Wow… really? I was shocked, but the experience didn’t end badly. Even though she didn’t believe the promotion was legitimate, the manager said she would honor it anyway, so we wound up with a free dessert.

I reported the incident to @Carrabbas and they later followed up with me on Twitter and email, exhibiting excellent customer service.

When I returned to Carrabba’s a second & third time, I had no problems whatsoever redeeming the Foursquare special offer. I suspect someone at corporate called the Glendale location and asked them to educate all employees on the Foursquare promotion. Well done, Carrabba’s.

Foursquare special offer redemption at Monti’s La Casa Vieja

The second location where I redeemed a Foursquare special offer was at Monti’s La Casa Vieja in Tempe.

Tera and I were enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather, hanging with our friends Jake and Mandy at the Tempe Festival of the Arts. When I mentioned the Monti’s 5 cent drink Foursquare special offer, our friends could hardly believe it.

We huffed it down to the end of Mill Ave, where Tera and I checked in on Foursquare before entering Monti’s. As we checked in, the Foursquare special offer splashed to life on our screens, which looked like the image below (again, taken from the Foursquare website).


We scuttled on over to the bar area, where Jake and Mandy tried to check-in on Foursquare to join in on the special offer fun. Oops, no service inside the building (thanks AT&T).

When our waitress arrived, I asked her if she was aware of the Foursquare promotion. Nope! She had no idea what I was talking about. She took our orders, presumably spoke with management and then came back to ask me how many of us had checked in on Foursquare. Tera got a glass of wine for 5 cents, I got a tasty Four Peaks draft beer for 5 cents.

Five cent drinks FTW!

Foursquare special offers final thoughts

Providing tangible rewards for Foursquare users is a very smart business move and a compelling incentive to get more people using Foursquare. A win-win for the business and Foursquare.

Like anything new, the Foursquare special offer redemption process will be bumpy at first. The best thing that a business can do to ensure a smooth process is to make sure that all of their staff is aware of the Foursquare special offer, once they start running one.

Foursquare might not be mainstream quite yet, but the folks who are using it are tech-savvy, vocal, ahead-of-the-pack power users. Adding a free Foursquare special offer for your business will attract these people as well as increase awareness and conversations about your business. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity.

Tips on redeeming a Foursquare special offer

Check-in before entering a business, to avoid wireless service issues indoors.
Don’t expect the staff to be aware of the Foursquare special offer, or even know what Foursquare is.
Keep the special offer image & text available on your phone to show the staff, if needed.
Be polite and ask the staff to check with management if they need further direction.
If you run into a problem, follow-up with a higher up (manager, owner, corporate office) to get things ironed out.

More resources on Foursquare

Learn more about Foursquare for businesses (official site).
10 Ways a Small Business can Leverage Foursquare by Joe Manna
Local Search Marketing using Foursquare by Chuck Reynolds

10 reasons you should attend Twestival Phoenix

Tweet, Meet, Give. Sounds simple enough right?

Twestival Phoenix is occurring at 7pm on Thursday, March 25th at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale.

This is a 100% volunteer run event. All money raised will benefit Concern Worldwide, a non-profit, non-government organization that provides aid to areas in extreme poverty around the world, with a focus on building schools, training teachers, providing clean drinking water, health education, disaster relief, etc.

Social media is fun. It’s educational, it helps us communicate, but it can also be used for a good cause, such as this.

10 reasons you should attend Twestival Phoenix

  • It’s for a great cause.
  • It’s fun! We had a great time at Twestival Phoenix last year.
  • The drinks! Each attendee receives 2 drink tickets and Twestival Phoenix will have beverages on hand from Cruz tequila, Karlsson’s Gold vodka and Full Sail Brewing.
  • Food! Twestival Phoenix will have complimentary bites on hand from Kabuki, Petit Fromage, Fairytale Brownies, SuperFarm, Udder Delights, Wildflower Bread Company and more!
  • Network. Twestival Phoenix attempts to draw together everyone in the Phoenix social media community. There will be many a networking opportunity available at the event.
  • Win prizes! Twestival Phoenix will be running a raffle and giving away a slew of prizes to attendees. Tons of gift certificates, gift baskets and prizes from local area businesses will be handed out.
  • Rock out! The Surfside IV will be jamming the house at Twestival Phoenix. The best surf-rock band in the valley.
  • Silent auction. Twestival Phoenix will feature many high value items & services in the silent auction. This is your chance to pick up some very cool stuff at a discount, all the while supporting a great cause.
  • Get a cool t-shirt. You have the option of purchasing a slick Twestival Phoenix t-shirt, which you will receive at the event.
  • Did I mention music? Green Ears (hip-hop & reggae cover band) and Radio Maker are also scheduled to play Martini Ranch the night of Twestival Phoenix.

Please attend Twestival Phoenix!

We need as many attendees as possible to make this a successful event. Please come! Please bring some friends! Purchase tickets here.

We also need help spreading the word. Please tweet, blog, Facebook status update or whatever else you can think of to help make people aware of the event.

I hope to see you on March 25th!

Official website: