Foursquare recently launched the ability for brands to create Pages on Foursquare. Until then, nonprofits were limited to simply claiming their nonprofit’s Venue Page making it almost impossible to be proactive on Foursquare. However, in recent weeks the site has made a number of upgrades that have rendered the site and it’s tool set much more interesting and relevant to the nonprofit sector. That said, I have just launched a new Page for Nonprofit Organizations on Foursquare at foursquare.com/nonprofitorgs where I’ll be using “Tips” to promote nonprofits and cause to the Foursquare community:

I am still going to use my personal profile on Foursquare (Heather @NonprofitOrgs) for promoting nonprofits and causes on Foursquare through “Check-ins” – in fact, you can now easily toggle between your personal profile and Page with one account on Foursquare:

However, from here on out my primary focus will be building the Nonprofit Organizations Foursquare Page. Finally, it’s worth reiterating that Pages are entirely different from Venue Pages. If your nonprofit is location-based, you most likely already have a Venue Page created by a Foursquare user. Some nonprofits have already claimed their Venue Page(s) (most have not), but if you want to get more pro-active in the Foursquare community by offering Tips as your nonprofit, then Pages are the way to go. Now, to get started with launching a new Foursquare Page for your nonprofit:

1) Create a personal profile on Foursquare first, and then a Page.

You will need to be an individual first to get started on Foursquare. Whether you ever use the personal profile is up to you, but to get started you do need to first create a personal account. Then, once logged in, visit foursquare.com/create_page and follow the instructions to create and link your new Page with your Twitter account:

Linking your new Foursquare Page with Twitter will then provide your nonprofit’s new Foursquare Page with a URL. For example, when I linked with Twitter (@nonprofitorgs) my new Foursquare Page URL became foursquare.com/nonprofitorgs.

2) Title your Page and upload your nonprofit’s avatar, a page banner, and write a sidebar title and page description.

Not all nonprofits need a Foursquare Page, but those will a little creativity and a penchant for early adoption can visualize ways to use the site for activism, awareness, and to promote text campaigns. That said, be sure to write a sidebar title and page description that describes how your nonprofit will contribute to the Foursquare community (for examples, see the Foursquare Page Gallery) and upload a well-designed banner that makes a strong first impression. Please note that the banner must be 860 pixels by 130 pixels.

3. Add Links.

It’s important to remember that much of the interaction on Foursquare occurs on mobile devices, so if you have any mobile websites or campaigns be sure to add those links:

4. Add a Manager.

When launching social media campaigns it’s always wise to prepare for the worst-case scenario by having at least two admins for each account. On Foursquare, be sure to add at least one other manager:

5. Unsync your check-ins with Twitter!

Automation on social networks is an absolute worst practice. It’s the antithesis of social media. There’s nothing social about it. People don’t want to follow, friend, or like robots. They want to know there is a real person behind the avatar. That said, you must link your Foursquare Page with Twitter in order to be featured in the Foursquare Page Gallery, but you can unsync the two networks by simply going to “Settings” and unchecking the option to share (automate) your check-ins on Twitter:

6. Add Five Tips.

To get added to the Foursquare Page Gallery, you need to complete the steps above and add five Tips to your new Foursquare Page:

I won’t be adding Tips to the Nonprofit Organizations Foursquare Page until next week (subscribe to Nonprofit Tech 2.0′s e-newsletter to be alerted of when they are live), but in the meantime you can view PETA, the National Wildlife Federation, and President Obama’s Tips for inspiration if you want to go ahead and get started on your own. :)

Related Link:
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Utilize Mobile Social Networking and Location-Based Communities