Foursquare in Sydney Australia

Foursquare has over a million registered users globally now.

Of these users, what sort of demographic has the highest usage? if you are a business using Foursquare to target customers and see their feedback – what sort of people are you reaching out to?

In order the judge the popularity of Foursquare amongst users in Sydney, Australia i ran a ‘tests’ at several locations in Sydney.

1. Mecca Espresso – midweek 11:30 am

Mecca Espresso is a trendy cafe in King st, Sydney CBD. Attracting mainly white collar business professionals i was surprised to see 9 people had checked-in over a 2 hour period.

Say 100 people went into the coffee store over the last 2 hours, this would be 9% of users checking into Foursquare.


2. Sydney Cricket Ground/ Sydney Football Stadium – Sunday Afternoon watching a NRL game.

Obviously attracting a different user demographic to the Mecca Espresso CBD business crowd, the number of people who checked-in to Foursquare was very small, out of 30,000+ people watching the football game.

This equated to about 0.04% of people who attended the game checked-in to Foursquare.


3. Social Media Club Sydney #SMCSYD – 8pm Oxford Art Factory, Oxford st, Darlinghurst.

There were probably 200 attendees at the Sydney Social Media club last night – mainly a group of media and technology professionals interested in hearing about up and coming social media tips and strategies.

I would say almost 20% of the crowd checked-in to Foursquare over the night.


Its clear Foursquare is getting high usage from Media professionals, business workers – whilst it has not penetrated the general population yet.

Business owners using Foursquare – you know who to target!

David Cowling : Editor and Founder of I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at

  • Businesses need to give customers an incentive to 'check in' or become 'mayor' of the location otherwise I don't think Foursquare will have the staying power like Facebook or Twitter. Consumers will get sick and tired of checking in just for a badge or points but if incentives such as 'become mayor and receive a free coffee' was available then it would be a different story.

    Foursquare uses are smart phone users. It would be a wise decision for a coffee shop in a business district to run a foursquare campaign vs a coffee shop in a lower class outer suburb due to the lack of smartphones such as the iphone.

    I really do hope that retailers see the potential of Foursquare. Once they do and promote incentives of 'checking in' – then I think it will go mainstream.

  • I agree with Elliot … we need more people to join Foursquare, but businesses need to come on board too, otherwise when the application loses the novelty factor, what else is there to encourage use?

  • Tips may help with some users that like to try different restaurants, cafes ect and use it as a recommendations type app but more mainstream users definitely will get sick and tired of Foursquare unless there is incentives to use it.

    Is there many businesses using it as a marketing tool over east? It is upto blogs like this to promote the potential!

    I will leave the app sitting on my iphone for now and hope the adoption rate picks up soon!

  • Hi Michelle, Elliot

    I have noticed a few (very few) businesses around Sydney CBD offering specials for mayors and even non-mayors who are regular repeat customers.

    Foursquare has tipped a million users now – and we can only assume a majority of these are in the US. I think in the Australian market we have a pretty small user base but there are a few user demographics that have good usage (mostly media/business/ digital people using an iPhone or BlackBerry).

    In terms of the businesses benefiting most from Foursquare – it seems food outlets/ retail / FMCG

    In the US the Starbucks partnership has seemed successful so far, why not go global with it?

    I have tried using Foursquare to promote sales on an advertising business and not one bite.

    I agree Foursquare needs to offer incentives or the users will leave over time.

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  • It takes time for these things to catch on. Last time I checked into foursquare it wasn't available in Australia. A free coffee would go a long way to attracting the businss crowd, creating a buzz that would dramatically increase uptake amongst those with a discretionary income of both foursquare and the local business. What have they got to loose? And I would think there is a great deal to gain.