Foursquare announced it has surpassed both 20 million users and 2 billion check-ins. Has geosocial marketing's moment arrived?

On Monday, foursquare announced it surpassed 20 million users. The growth of both smartphones and social media has made the check-in service a wildly popular tool for those looking to keep their friends and other social contacts up to date on their movements. Geosocial marketing may get a lift if foursquare and similar networks continue to rise.

Along with the 20 million-user announcement, foursquare reported that it recently passed 2 billion check-ins as the service becomes increasingly popular.

Foursquare’s popularity is only likely to continue. Aside from its use as a check-in tool, consumers enjoy consulting the site to find information on nearby businesses. As the app itself has evolved, the company has added features allowing users to find information related to restaurants, retailers and other businesses in their area.

As users engage with the information, it’s more likely that they’ll add similar content and check-in to various establishments. Businesses may want to reward this type of activity to encourage user-generated content and build their geosocial presence.

Brafton reported that local marketing spend hit $43 billion in 2011, and ABI research expects it to surpass $1.8 billion by 2015 due in part to geosocial platforms. Of course, ABI noted that the location elements of existing social media sites also contribute to the popularity of check-ins, but foursquare’s recent figures suggest the network has its role in consumer lives.

The company continues to adapt its features to improve user experience, and marketers should be sure to monitor the foursquare buzz around their brands. In January, Brafton highlighted a new feature from foursquare that allows users to search by location for any business reviewed or mentioned on their network. The result rankings are adjusted based on positive reviews.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.