Just 45 days ago, social media giant FourSquare announced that they were opening up their Pages feature for any brand manager that wanted to take advantage of this unique social media marketing feature. Setting up a business page with FourSquare was made to be impressively easy using a new self-serve interface, and all that a local business had to do was login using their Twitter oAuth at this location.
Following this announcement, I remained interested but skeptical. While creating a brand page may raise your image in the FourSquare space to be alongside the likes of Bravo and The History Channel, the site's most heavily demanded feature of immediately creating custom trophy badges has still not been made as available as most brand managers seem to desire. As such, we were very curious what sort effect that these changes to FourSquare pages might have had on the growing social media giant since the August 2nd announcement, and subsequent revisions to FourSquare's business tools. Here's what was dug up.
1.) Did this increase search interest in FourSquare?
After all, we are at our core an SEO company here. The answer to this question appears to be a resounding no, based upon the most recent 30 days of data that we were able to retrieve from Google Trends.
2.) Did this increase traffic at FourSquare.com
Although FourSquare has been able to maintain a very impressive sub-1000 Alexa ranking (in an application used mostly by mobile users that cannot install the Alexa toolbar for tracking, no less), web traffic to FourSquare.com appeared to actually show a major decrease in traffic, dropping 123 positions in the past 30 days.
We aren't ready to chalk this up as a total loss, however, as FourSquare's rise to power has been massive, and the company saw a similar dip around this time last year that we don't have an explanation for at this time (perhaps people don't like to galavant around logging check-ins when the cold hits?).
Of course, the real question in people's minds is how it compares side by side with the most similar animal in people's minds - Facebook pages, which first started rolling out in November of 2007. Unfortunately, the insanity that has been Facebook seems to cloud the useful publicly available data here.
3.) Are people even using these pages?
Previous to the open availability of FourSquare business pages, SEW reported that roughly 3,000 pages had been manually added to the site before the self service feature was created. FourSquare's subtly placed browse pages tool appears to be showing a maximum of 4,320 pages at once, so it would appear that there has at least been those most significant increase in pages that the site has seen to date in the given time frame (which may not be saying much). If anyone can find a clearer indication of how many business pages now exist on FourSquare, we would love to hear it.
From the data and slew of news stories linked above, we're able to draw at least a few conclusions.
- FourSquare gets silly amounts of traffic no matter how you slice it, which is now considerably more available for your brand to tap into.
- Allowing any brand to create brand pages did not do much for FourSquare's apparent overall popularity, and does not appear to have been as widely embraced as the social media giant may have hoped.
- Brand pages on FourSquare are still pretty easily to create using nothing other than a Twitter oAuth login and linking a few tips/locations. Just don't expect this feature to change your organization's social media game all that much.