Facebook, the Social Network, is quickly becoming an extremely important avenue for marketers, whether you’re on the Web or not. This is because of Facebook’s relatively new destination based feature called, Facebook Places. ‘Places’ offers any physical business or service to socially network their business with others. Places will allow you to track your: customers, visitors or friends who decide to ‘share’ your office, store or venue with others.
According to Facebook
“What Facebook Places does is it allows Web users to socially share with their friends, exactly where they are, or be able to find their friends, while they are discovering interesting new places in the neighborhood or around the city.”
When new or previous customers decide to check out your Facebook Places, these social ‘Share’ mentions can generate impressions from their friends News Feeds, automatically spreading your product or brand instantly to new customers for free.
How To Create Your Own Facebook “Places”
If you are wanting to add your own physical location and address of your business, then someone needs to ‘Check in’ to your Places, that ‘someone’ can be you. First, you will need to open the Facebook application, which is currently for touch devices only, e.g.: Android Smartphones, Tablets or iPhones/iPads etc., and see if your location and address already exists or not. This can be easily done by simply searching for your business name.
Should your business ‘Places’ not yet exist, then you can click the “Add” or the “+” sign, (which would depend on the type of mobile device you are using.) Then enter the name of your business, the description, type of product or service, (which can always be edited later.) Once you have created your business ‘Places,’ then you can check-in.
Claiming Your Facebook “Places”
You can then go ahead and actually ‘Claim’ your place, which allows you to manage your: business address, your contact information, your hours of business, your profile picture etc. Facebook Places is actually similar to managing your Facebook Page, but also has additional features such as: directions to your business, maps and of course check-ins.
4 Steps To Claim Your ‘Places’
1.) First, you must log into your Facebook account and then search for and then select the name of the Place. Click on the… ‘Is this your Business’ link in order to claim your Place.
2.) A popup box should appear after selecting the ‘Is this your Business’ link. Check the box to claim and certify that you’re the official representative of the business.
3.) Facebook will then verify your ‘Places’ by they calling the phone number that’s listed on the page. This phone call verification happens right after you select the “Call me now” option.
4.) Once they phone, an automated operator will give you a four digit pin number, which you enter in the field on your Facebook Places page.
If Facebook doesn’t have a phone number listed for your business, or the phone listed is incorrect, then select the “Is this the wrong number?” link, which will direct you to a document verification process. You will then be notified via email when your Facebook Places has been claimed successfully.
After your Place has been verified, you can now merge your new Facebook Places with your existing Facebook Page.
Merging Your Facebook Places with Facebook Pages
The final step is merging your newly claimed and verified Facebook Places with your Facebook Page, if you have one. Keep in mind this step is optional and not required, but it will beneficial if you do so. So once you have successfully claimed your “Place,” the final step and notification that you’ll receive is the “merge notification”. Merging Places and Pages will enable you to upgrade your existing Facebook Page with an updated design, including maps and ‘Check-ins,’ etc.
Provided you have a physical business or service with an address (so this is not for websites), Facebook Places is an excellent social networking tool giving you instant exposure for your business, allowing you to offer a ‘Sale Of The Day’ etc., to all your followers.