If you’re a retailer of any kind there’s a lot of great things going on in the Internet marketing space, much of it free.

As we reported a few days ago, Google has integrated Google Places firmly into the Google+ environment, even integrating Zagat’s reviews, taking greater advantage of social media sharing based on location.  And don’t forget the newly robust Facebook check-in deals that generate awareness and builds loyalty.

And now, Foursquare, that geo-targeted mobile social media sharing and check-in tool that helps you stay connected with friends while sharing favorite restaurants and other destinations, has upgraded the entire service to focus even more on interaction with other members and friends.  And the upgraded map feature is meant to expose your business to new customers who may not have heard of your business before.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOUR BUSINESS?

While all of this may seem like a bunch of background noise with little implication for your retail business, think again.  Mobile phones, on which all of these social marketing apps reside, now vastly outnumber desktop PCs.  So whether you personally use Facebook, Foursquare or Google+ your customers and prospects definitely are.

The first thing you should do is:

  • Click each name to claim your business on Google+, Foursquare and Facebook
  • Set up a special offer, discount or coupon of some kind
  • Educate your internal staff to the promotions so when a customer brings an offer into the store they’ll know what’s gong on
  • Encourage your customers to sign up for your offers on the services you’re participating in (And why not do all three?)

Specifically for Foursquare:

  • Claim your venue on Foursquare if you haven’t already.
  • Make sure your venue’s information is completely filled out including the category of business.
  • Encourage your customers to Like you on foursquare in addition to just checking in and leaving tips.
  • Start running specials! The clear visual distinction will allow your business to stand out with a special on the large real-estate that is the foursquare homepage map.

 More Info On the Revamped Foursquare HERE.

Is your business using any of these free services?  Please share success stories below in the comments area.