I’m a mayor. I’m actually a Super Mayor.

In fact I am the mayor of over 10 locations!

It’s hard to believe how I could possibly fit these incredibly important roles into my day, but it’s possible.

In case you hadn’t picked up on it yet, I’m talking about the latest social media trend called FourSquare.p>

Now I can just see many of you turning off at this point but if you care about your business…you’ll stay tuned!

While you may not be keen to get involved at a user end of this new social phenomena by becoming the Mayor of your local supermarket or gaining your Bender Badge or even your Super User Badge, but it’s vital that you understand the potential impact this new social network tool can have on your operation.

Basically, the user ‘ Checks In ‘ to places and locations they go. This is now commonly being termed as GeoLocation technology. Once a user ‘checks in’ they can leave a note as to why they are there or even a tip about the location. You’ll also note that this concept of GeoLocation has recently been introduced to Facebook too although it is unlikely this will have significant impact on your business at this stage.

So why is FourSquare so important?

Well there are really 2 areas that are important – 1) Are you listed? and 2) What are people saying about my business?

Being listed is important if you are broadly in the retail or tourism based market. Restaurants, tourism attractions, fast food outlets, shops, outlet stores etc are all high traffic locations that users are likely to frequent and FourSquare about. Users will search for nearby locations that they can check into so it’s important that you are listed and that the details about your business are correct.

Many locations are marked incorrectly and this is damaging as there are users that will use the locator as a map device to find a location. I recently found a location that was incorrect by around 2km…which is very annoying and reflects badly on the business even though it isn’t there fault.

It’s also vital to find out what people are saying. Last night I went to catch up with a good friend for a coffee. It was 9:20 on a Sunday and the venue we had chosen to meet at was in its final stages of closing. In my frustration, I was quick to tip that this venue was unable to provide a basic service at 9:30 on a warm, spring Sunday evening.

Another user that checks into this location will be able to read this tip and make an assessment as to whether or not they should continue to patronise the venue.

In this case it wasn’t a particularly bad tip but I have seen many that are. On the opposite end of the scale though, I have noted many glowing comments about businesses which have encouraged me to patronise them again and try new things. As a further example, I actually tried a new dish at a restaurant the other day due to a recommendation from a friend on FourSquare.

Now I realise that this all sounds very foreign to many people, but the real message here is that with every new technology or trend, you need to be sure that you at least have an understanding as to what the technology is about.

I specifically joined FourSquare shortly after its release because I could see that it was going to gain popularity and it’s vital for us to be on the forefront of what it is these types of new social mediums offer.

If you want to find out more then just visit the FourSquare website. There you can actually search for your business and see if it has been listed already. You can also discover how FourSquare works and what devices it is available on.

Even if social networking is not your thing, Four Square is something you should ‘check out‘. You never know who’s checking in!