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Only 10% Of Businesses Would Pay For Foursquare: Survey

Only 10% of businesses that are currently using Foursquare as a free marketing tool are willing to pay for the service; that’s one of the interesting survey results presented last week during the “Location Services: The New Local Search?” session at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle.


Search marketers Will Scott (of Search Influence) and Mat Siltala (of Dream Systems Media) presented the results of what’s believed to be the first survey of Foursquare advertisers — a survey in May of 127 non-chain businesses across the U.S. Most of the respondents were from the restaurant and retail industries.

A majority of the business owners who replied say they became aware of Foursquare within the last year, and heard about it via word-of-mouth from a colleague, friend, or employee — not from a Foursquare-using customer. Some other interesting survey results include:

  • almost 60% have a total annual advertising budget of less than $2,500 (online and offline spending)
  • more than 90% are also on Facebook
  • almost 90% use Twitter
  • more than 90% have a web site
  • almost 80% have claimed their Google Place Page; almost 40% use Yahoo Local, and almost 20% use Bing Maps as marketing tools

But for Foursquare, the 10% willing-to-pay figure has to be somewhat alarming. An explanation for the low number might be found in these other survey results: Most of the businesses who replied say they are tracking Foursquare check-ins, but most also don’t know if Foursquare is helping their business or not.

You can see the full set of slides/survey results on Mat’s blog.

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