Using Facebook Places

One of the newer range of Facebook features is Facebook Places. It has been created to compete with some existing platforms that do not quite have the reach that Facebook has with its 500 million users. If you want people to know where you are when you make a post, then you need to be using 'Facebook Places'. 

Tagging your 'place' is easy to do as an individual on Facebook, but how can it be used as a marketing tool for small businesses?

Facebook already dominates the 'social' aspect of social networking, but the uses of Facebook for business are only just being realised with Facebook advertising. With Facebook Places small business will have a new opportunity to promote and market on a local level.

Privacy- Facebook Places 

Facebook Places does bring up privacy issues for some personal users. You can 'check in' at a place, and also check in friends at the same time from a smartphone / iphone. You can tag which friends are with you, but they will not show up until they have logged into their Facebook account and approved the check-in, which will appear as an alert on their Facebook homepage. The Privacy Settings allow users to disable the Friends Can Check Me Into Places option.

Taking Advantage of Facebook Places for Business

As a business there is a verification process involved to ensure that you are an official representative for a particular business (a bit like setting up an account with Google Maps). Once you've created, or claimed ownership of your 'Place' and verified it you can do a couple of things.

  • Promote Special Offers- customers who check-in with Facebook Places can receive a special offer during a specified time.
  • Encourage clients/customers to share their experience of your business. Those who share might get special discounts or rewards for doing so.
  • Reward customer loyalty for Facebook check-ins. Foursquare have this covered with the Mayor feature, we can only assume that Facebook will enable a similar feature.

Foursquare may have the edge as a location based check in tool, but with so many more users Facebook could easily pull the carpet from underneath Foursquare. It seems logical that existing Facebook users will shift to Facebook Places simply because of its integration within the Facebook as a whole, and the obvious reach that it has over Foursquare.

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