Foursquare has undergone a complete overhaul, but it is difficult, at first glance, to differentiate exactly what makes the new Foursquare different from other major local business listing services such as Yelp. One of its most notable qualities is its value proposition; Instead of giving generic reviews, it provides reviews that are customized for the end user.
How Well Can Foursquare Tell What People Will Like Best?
Can Foursquare really make suggestions that are spot-on? It seems iffy. After all, people that routinely read online reviews before patronizing a business can figure out whether or not they are apt to like it based on the reviews alone. Readers that care about great ambiance can figure out if a place has harsh lighting and outdated dcor by reading reviews on sites such as Yelp. Similarly, readers that really care about an extensive drink list can quickly figure out whether or not an establishment has one.
Numerous local business owners in the service industry prompt customers to give feedback and post online reviews. To be blunt, customers require a good amount of motivation to post something on a review site. Do they need another? In truth, small businesses can grow on a number of different sites. However, harassing customers to write reviews is almost always a bad idea.
The Challenge of the User With Eclectic Tastes With Locations Thrown In
Algorithms that focus on relevancy are increasingly advanced on a broad scope. However, pinpointing what a certain person wants at any given point in time seems like artificial intelligence with some ESP capabilities thrown in. Arguably, a person who enjoys fine dining might want to find quick and easy takeout on occasion and vice versa.
Some people seem to be delighted by almost everything at different times. Nearby ice cream might not seem enticing during a snowstorm, even for the most enthusiastic frozen dessert aficionados. It begs the question, why do users who already know what they want and what they do not want need an algorithm to tell them? Additionally, numerous locations do not have an endless variety of options. Suburban America is a far cry from the center of New York City. Similarly, quaint towns in the Scottish countryside have much more limited options than London.
What Is the Meaningful Difference Between Foursquare and Yelp?
It is difficult to pinpoint what is different other than user preference. Some users enjoy sites that post striking pictures, and other users enjoy sites that have clean layouts. More important, users want to know that local business listing services provide genuine reviews from real people. The power of social influence is lost when a site starts to curate and influence the reviews it hosts.
Next Steps for Local Business Owners
Instead of focusing on nuances in local business listing services, local business owners should continue on providing exceptional services. Give people something to write about. After all, there are few things more powerful than recommendations from an enthusiastic audience on any major review site.