November 17th, 2010
Facebook’s new application Places is a fun way for your fans to “check in” using their smartphone at your business location and display this update on their Wall. Facebook Places is available as an iPhone app, or you can use your other smartphone to visit touch.facebook.com and start checking in with Places. How does it work? Facebook Places uses the GPS in your phone, coupled with the app connected to your Facebook profile, to display where you’re at. As the app user, you can tag other Facebook friends who are with you and check them in on Places.
To get started, make sure your business is on Facebook Places and claim it. There are two basic steps:
1. Get the app, log in, and create a new Place while you’re physically at your business location.
2. Claim your business on Places and verify you’re the owner.
Step 1: Check to see if you’re on Places. If not, create a Place. (Wild Web Woman Tip: Actually do this from your business location – your storefront, venue, restaurant, or office address)
Start by searching for your business name on www.facebook.com via the Search bar. If your business’s Place already exists, click on it and go to Step 2.
- If your business’s Place does not yet exist, you’ll need to visit the Place’s physical location with your iPhone or go to touch.facebook.com on any HTML-5 enabled device.
- Once you’re there, access the Places app on your phone, click “Check In”, then click “Add” to the left of the Places Names search box.
- Enter a name for the new Place (your business!) and a description (Tip: If you have a Facebook.com/Yourname URL, put it here!). Once you’re done, click “Add”.
- You’ll be the first to “check in” at your location: Try posting “Hey friends, my business is now on Facebook Places” in the description so people reading your Wall will see it.
Step 2: Claim a Place to manage your business’s presence on Facebook
At the bottom left of your Place there will be a link that says “Is this your business?” Click on the link and you will be directed to a claiming process. Facebook will ask you to verify that you are the owner through a phone verification process, or you may be asked for document verification. Once your claim is confirmed, you will own your Place on Facebook.
Now that your business is on Places, promote it to your customers! Don’t forget to tell your Fans by posting on your business’s Page Wall that they can check in with Places.
Bonus Step: Create Deals for your customers and fans
Facebook Places recently launched a feature called Deals that you can activate after claiming your Place. That means people “checking in” at your business will also see coupons, incentives, and even charity deals by your Places profile. After claiming your Place, simply go to your business Places page and click the “Create a Deal” button. You’ll have tons of options to choose from. Check out Facebook’s instructional video on how to create Deals.
If you are offering any Deals, share the news with Fans. Put signage in your location with a prominent Facebook logo with simple instructions like “We’re on Facebook Places – Check out our Deals”. Facebook Places and Facebook Deals are fun and fantastic web marketing tools to ENGAGE your fans and GROW your base of loyal customers.
If you’re using Facebook Places and Deals, comment here – we’d love to hear about your experience!
Tags: facebook, facebook deals, facebook fan pages, facebook marketing, Facebook Marketing Tips, facebook places, small business web marketing, web marketing, Web Marketing Best Practices, web marketing tips