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If you have made the decision to adopt a social media marketing strategy for your healthcare practice, you have probably run into an application called Foursquare while researching popular social media trends. Foursquare is a mobile-based application that allows its users to “check in” to certain places and businesses and see where friends are located.

Since the advent of smart phones and mobile social networking, Foursquare – like many other location-based applications – has been rapidly growing in popularity. What makes it different from similar sites like Yelp and Google Places is that it is friend-based. This means most of the comments and reviews for places that users find on Foursquare will be from people they know.

Users earn points which can be used for badges and other rewards, but much of the appeal of Foursquare lies in the fact that it can be used for both entertainment and information. Sharing locations with friends can be fun and enlightening. Oftentimes users have tips and recommendations, such as a sale at a shopping mall or a tasty meal at a restaurant. Businesses also use Foursquare to alert those who “check in” to special deals and offers.

Foursquare has a searchable feature that allows users to find local businesses – including healthcare practices – in their area. Many practices have started utilizing Foursquare as a way to connect with the community. Claiming your “place” on Foursquare opens your practice up to a wealth of knowledge about the patient experience. While sitting in your waiting room, a patient may “check in” and comment about wait times, the friendly receptionist, or the services your practice offers. This information is then shared with the patient’s friends and family on Foursquare.

This is invaluable. Not only are these “check-ins” a way to get the word out to others about your practice, they are also tools which can help you build a better patient experience.

Profiles for “places” (or businesses) can sometimes be created by the users themselves, so if you are considering bringing Foursquare into your healthcare marketing arsenal, it’s important to “claim” your business. This puts you in control and ensures that you are maximizing marketing potential. If you want your patient to know that you offer certain ancillary services, “claiming” your business will allow you to display this information on your practice’s profile.

If you are interested in claiming your “place” on Foursquare, or simply want to learn more about how this popular tool can fit into your medical marketing strategy, contact MindStream Creative today!