Corporate Eye

Which Brands Dominate Foursquare Check-ins?

According to Ad Age’s weekly Trendrr data, Christmas week was a busy one for foursquare check-ins — although check-ins did not reach previously set peaks.

Only two of the brands in the top ten for the holiday week saw a decline in check-ins from the prior week. Of the top ten retail brand check-ins on foursquare during that week, three were food and beverage chains and 7 were consumer products and electronics retailers. Interestingly, it was the food and beverage brands that saw a decline in foursquare check-ins while all consumer products and electronics retailers saw increases in check-ins (as much as a 25% increase for Macy’s).

You can see the breakdown of the top 10 retail brands for foursquare check-ins below:

  1. Starbucks = 139,226 check-ins during the week
  2. Target = 48,611 check-ins during the week
  3. McDonald’s = 48,264 check-ins during the week
  4. Walmart = 43,467 check-ins during the week
  5. Best Buy = 25,029 check-ins during the week
  6. Apple = 20,570 check-ins during the week
  7. Costco = 13,834 check-ins during the week
  8. Barnes & Noble = 11,038 check-ins during the week
  9. Macy’s = 10,418 check-ins during the week
  10. Burger King = 9,792 check-ins during the week

Earlier this year, Starbucks was the first retailer to partner with foursquare to offer a national program where local check-ins can earn users “mayor” status, which they can use across the United States.  And in October, Starbucks launched its new Digital Network in stores that offers content (including foursquare check-ins and more) aimed to enhance the in-store experience for customers.  With nearly three times as many check-ins during a single week as the next closest brand, Starbucks is doing something right with foursquare as far as its customers are concerned.

Location-based marketing offered through tools like foursquare are hot right now, but the recipes for success are still unknown.  As your brand looks to implement geo-targeting and mobile marketing initiatives, check out what the ten brands listed above are doing.  You’ll undoubtedly learn from them.

What are your company’s plans for location-based and mobile marketing in 2011?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts on these opportunities for the new year.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Thanks for these stats Susan. What are your thoughts on platforms like Geotoko ( to run location-based promotions instead of sticking with just foursquare?

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