​Foursquare continues to bolster its local recommendation and search assets to compete with Facebook and Yelp.

​Marketers put an emphasis on social media content to engage highly active consumers. More recently, brands have discovered that user-generated content (UGC), like reviews and recommendations, can compel prospects to convert. Brafton reported that 90 percent of online consumers buy products and services after reading online reviews. Clearly, the value of UGC is high, and companies must look for ways to encourage happy customers to leave a few positive words scattered around the ‘net.

Foursquare can help spread the word about good reviews, with its recently revamped mobile application that puts a search bar front and center. The new-look Foursquare platform focuses on local search, enhancing the user experience for greater SMB discovery. The company uses its social data and check-ins to develop a recommendation system more complex than that of Yelp and Facebook, according to Search Engine Land. Foursquare reports having seen approximately 3.5 billion check-ins.

In the newest version of the application, the search box is positioned at the top of the screen and a check-in icon placed at the bottom. The various tabs that lived on the homepage before are now gone. Foursquare also uses a numerical places-rating algorithm instead of one purely based on reviews. In theory, this should provide members with better recommendations because Foursquare ranks businesses based on foot traffic – or, check-ins.

B2C marketers with brick-and-mortar stores must find ways to leverage Foursquare’s new search tool for lead generation – this will inevitably include great service, but original branded content can also help. Creating fun initiatives to encourage customers to check-in on their smartphones can help with brand awareness, as higher rankings appear further up in Foursquare search and might persuade passersby to check out what’s so trendy about the store just around the corner.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.