Tag Archives: foursquare

Social Media Personalized

Social media marketing is challenging for small businesses in McHenry County. Just keeping up with Facebook changes is almost a full-time job. Did you know there assistance for businesses in McHenry County and it will not cost you an arm and a leg?Bring your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, FourSquare, YouTube, Twitter questions and more.

Check out the social media marketing programs offered at the Shah Center in McHenry just for small business owners. The Shah Center is a part of the Illinois Small Business Development Center.

Social Media Roundtable: A no-cost seminar to discuss the latest trends in social media marketing and share various approaches with your peers. A social media professional will help facilitate the discussion and be available for questions. There is no fee to attend, reservations required as seating is limited.

Social Media for Small Business: Do you have questions about social media? Want hands-on help? Bring your questions to our computer classroom and work with a social media expert. Learn new ways to reach and engage an online audience and boost your bottom line through the use technologies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Cost: $30.

Consulting: The Shah Center consulting services are free to all clients, start-up entrepreneurs, owners and managers of businesses. We’ve helped businesses in our area attract customers, improve their operations, increase sales, and get financing. We can review your business plan before you talk to your banker to help you prepare. Use our research and contacts to strengthen your plan, improve your operations or develop your marketing and e-business strategies. Plus, we catalog and track all federal, state and local government business assistance programs. We offer counseling and seminars/workshops on these and other topics:

  • Business planning, people and other business management issues
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Finance and accounting, regulation and taxation
  • Production and operations, office automation and computer training
  • Business data analysis, technology and other issues necessary to promote business growth
  • Operational, project and strategic planning techniques

All classes are held at the Shah Center.  The McHenry County College Shah Center at 4100 W. Shamrock Lane in McHenry, near Centegra Hospital. For more information or to register, please contact the Illinois Small Business Development Center at (815) 455-6098 or sbdc at mchenry.edu.

For information on all of CyberLife Tutors presentations, workshops, classes and events visit our events calendar.


What is FourSquare Who is the Mayor and Why Do People Checkin

What is FourSquare?

FourSquare is a popular geo location based, mobile marketing app used by over 15 million people worldwide. “Geo location” means it uses the GPS capabilities in your smartphone, Ipad or tablet device to identify your current location. Membership is free and the app is free from the Apple ITunes store.

With Foursquare, you can keep up with your friends, find new places to visit and claim discounts at your favorite businesses. The company was founded by a couple of New York City entrepreneurs in 2007 and launched in 2009.

How often are people using FourSquare?

According to FourSquare figures as of January, 2012.

  • Over 1.5 billion check-ins, with millions more every day
  • Businesses: Over 750,000 using the FourSquare Merchant Platform

How does FourSquare work?

Members use their smartphones or tablet to “checkin” when they visit a location. The person who checks in the most often earns the title of “Mayor” for the venue. Some businesses offer specials for newbies or multiple visits. Checkins may be posted on members Facebook and or Twitter accounts to share with friends.

How can my business benefit from FourSquare?

Any business from solopreneurs to “mom and pop shops” to national chains can create a business account. Benefits include:

  • Get statistics on those who checkin to your business to make better business decisions.
  • Offer special offers to prospects and gain new customers.
  • Encourage loyalty with bonuses for repeat checkins.
  • Reward your best customer with a Mayor special.

Need help getting your business set up on FourSquare? Give us a call at our 24 hour voice mail 414-604.6635.

CheckIn with Foursquare
CheckIn with Foursquare

FourSquare Location Based Social Networking Website

FourSquare is a geo-location-based social networking application accessed millions of times each day as members check in at locations using smartphones. With this mobile marketing tool, users earn FourSquare badges, become mayor of a venue and claim discounts. Mayor status is earned by checking in the most times and this is your most loyal customer.

Businesses use FourSquare to attract and retain customers. With FourSquare tools for business, your first step is to claim your business venue. Edit details, add a link to your website and Twitter handle. You can set up free marketing campaigns and specials like the “Newbie Special”, “Swarm Special” or “Mayor Special”.

Monitor your campaigns with the Merchant Dashboard with venue stats to get a statistical breakdown on your visitors.

FourSquare apps are available the Iphone, BlackBerry, Android, Palm and many other smartph0ne devices.

Contact us and to get your business started with FourSquare.

A Simple Way To Earn Cash While Shopping

Dorothy Tucker from CBS Chicago News recently interviewed me about mobile marketing applications WeReward, ShopKick and CheckPoints. With these tools, shoppers can earn points which can be converted to cash or merchandise.

FourSquare is another popular application where merchants can create special offers for new or repeat customers.



Customers use mobile marketing or geo location services on their smart phones and tablets while shopping, dining or recreating.

According to Nielsen’s third quarter 2011 survey, 43 percent of all US mobile phone subscribers own a smartphone. 62 percent of mobile adults aged 25-34 report owning smartphones.

Businesses use these tools to create offers to encourage new customers and loyalty among existing customers. On most sites you can list your business for no cost and some customer offers are free.

Interested in mobile marketing? Give us a call at 414-604-6635 and we will set up your sites and guide you though using them.

Read the full article “A Simple Way To Earn Cash While Shopping” at
CBS Chicago.

What is FourSquare, CheckPoint, Gowalla and Location Services?

What is FourSquare, CheckPoint, Gowalla and Location Services?

This is the number one question my social networking connections ask me about. They see short posts on my Facebook or Twitter accounts and wonder what those check ins are all about.

Using my smartphone and software applications, I access location based services and let others know where I am.

  • A smartphone is a handheld computer with much more functionality than the basic cell phone.
  • Apps are software programs than run on smartphones. Download apps from your phone store.
  • Location based services use global positioning systems (GPS) and software on smartphone to locate the user’s position and deliver specific content based on the location.

Here are the location based services I use most often to check in and why I use each of them.


With WeReward, users earn points, which can be converted to cash. When you are at a location, search for the business name using the free app. Check in by taking a photo of the business or using the product. The app will indicate the requirements for each check in.

Feel free to leave a comment or tip about the location when you check in. You can also earn points for using products or downloading apps.

I like this app because I can earn $30-$50 a month by checking in at the places I visit during my normal day. Money is deposited directly into a PayPal account.

WeReward Location Based Service
WeReward Location Based Service


Check ins with FourSquare earn badges and bragging rights. Those who check in the most often at a location become the Mayor. Users leave tips for others about great deals, places to park or nearby businesses.

Businesses are marketing to customers using FouSquare offering specials to those who check in. At some restaurants, a check in will earn a free appetizer with your meal or a discount.

The FourSquare Mayor of the business is a best customer and can be rewarded with special “Mayor only” discounts.


Users check in at location and earn virtual items they can collect or trade at other locations. One of the fun things to do is post picture from your favorite spots or share tips about locations.

What I like about Gowalla is that I never know when I will earn a virtual item. It is fun to collect and swap the trinkets as I run errands.


Which Checkpoints users earn points for checking in and scanning the bar codes of products at stores. Purchasing the product is not required. Each product you scan is worth a specific number of points.

What I like about Checkpoints is the points I earn can be converted for gift cards at companies like Home Depot and Apple. When checking in, coins are earned which can be used to play a virtual slot machine or scratch off card game.

Checkpoints:  Sign up using my code “aprilmwilliams” to get extra points.


With Shopkick awards points when checking in at locations. Additional points are earned by scanning the UPC code of specific products in the store. There is no requirement to purchase these items.

You can earn virtual stamps and badges by using your account.

What I like about Shopkick is points can be converted to gift cards for retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s and Target.

Are you using other location based services? Click on comments and let us know which apps you use.