Back in July I wrote a quiet rant about how frustrating I found Foursquare and how while accessing the mobile site it had me near Poland and then Africa while I was wasting time in a bedroom hotel at Manchester airport.

Well thanks to a new beta on the excellent Gravity Twitter client from mobileways.de the switch has been thrown, the bulb is fully illuminated and rays of light are reaching the furthest corners of my brain! Apart from the rather obvious drawback that you risk being burgled by highlighting the fact you are away from home, Foursquare is one of those services that gets the old marketing tingles going because of its potential.

Okay, apart from the novelty of being made mayor of some BSE in a bun establishment and being offered a free glass of wind inducing fizzy stuff because you could prove that you had Foursquared your location to Twitter, what else can Foursquare or similar geo-location services be used for?

If you are a retailer you can use Foursquare as an electronic loyalty card, but be creative. Offering a free latte every ten purchases is okay for starters but if you really want to draw the crowds and build up a regular custom start having cognitive processes on the exterior of cardboard packing – that’s thinking outside the box for those who like that phrase! To add a Foursquare special to your business, simply click on the link on the right hand side of the Fourqquare For Business page. By making it “official” on Foursquare, your offer will appear in the Specials Nearby box that pops up when someone checks into a business near yours.

Foursquare allows users to leave tips and while this feature was probably originally designed for users leaving their own advice on a establishment, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use it for your own purposes. For example if you run a coffee shop and notice there’s a slump in business at a certain time, leave an official tip that punters will get a free cake with a coffee between certain times.

Treasure hunts are a good idea if you have multiple locations such as a shopping centre (mall) and use Foursquare and Twitter to lead customers to specific locations where retailers have agreed to offer special promotions.

What is your favourite use for Foursquare?