Location-based social media platform Foursquare turns your everyday life into a game! Just imagine, getting points for picking up the groceries and stopping off at the bank, and earning badges for special activities. Life is fun again! One can even become the mayor of an establishment by having the most check-ins. Aside from the amusement, there are several serious benefits to any business that is willing to commit to this platform. Here are a few ways businesses can see a return on investment by registering on Foursquare: The Special Businesses have the ability to offer their Foursquare patrons special deals on their products. When a would-be patron checks into an area venue, the program points out nearby specials. This admittedly works the better for retail and service industries (shops and restaurants) rather than corporate conglomerates. Several national chains have already implemented this strategy, offering deals available only to those who show they are checked in on Foursquare. While the special does not have to be large, it should offer meaningful value to the patron. Try being creative and offer a special unique to your business! The Mayor Special Much like the regular Foursquare Special, a Mayor Special is offered to the individual with the most check-ins at a venue. Mayor Specials should be more significant than a normal special to recognize the effort required to earn the mayorship. Chances are the mayor of your venue will be an extremely loyal customer, why not reward their patronage. Many mayorships do not last long, owing to the constant battle to unseat the current mayor. Market Research Once your business is registered on Foursquare, you can find out more about your patrons based upon where and when they check-in. This data could prove extremely useful as you might discover new patterns and trends, or maybe a new demographic for your clientele. While rapidly growing, Foursquare only passed 2 million users in June. Businesses owners should not expect to lose their shirts over a Foursquare special since the number of Foursquare users is still relatively low. Most businesses actually report an increase in activity after offering a special on Foursquare. For more examples of Foursquare loyalty programs, check out the Foursquare Blog . Have you been meaning to add social media into your business strategy? Foursquare is a fun and relatively simple way to grow your business. For more information on Foursquare, Gowalla and other location-based networking sites, download our recent white paper -- The Comprehensive Guide to Location-Based Social Media .