Last week Facebook announced their ‘Places’ service which allows users to display their current location through the site by “checking-in”. This is done in real time, so it allows people to share where they are, what they’re doing or even where they’re headed to. What’s also interesting is how users can easily tell if any of their friends are nearby. As everything is in real time, your news feed is updated every time one of your friends check in, which provides an ideal opportunity to spread exposure to your location! (Ideal for a shop or restaurant!)
So, how can a business benefit from Places?
Well, if your business is already on Facebook, then great news! Places will allow for businesses to search for and add their address as a ‘Place’. Alternatively, if a user has already created a place for your business, then you can claim ownership of this place. Not on Facebook yet? Get a Facebook Business Page now!
Great news then! But what can you do with a place!? Here are some ideas:
1. Increase exposure of your business to more people. Every time someone checks in their friends news feed is updated to show this. So, for example, if Friend A sees Friend B checking into your shop every day; then this could provide incentive for Friend A to see what’s so good about your ‘Place’.
2. Encourage visitors to check in at your ‘Place’. You could offer checked-in visitors a discount or one off special item to encourage this. Remember, when checked-in, all of the user’s friends will see this in their news feeds, which will increase exposure of your business to a wider audience. You just need to make sure visitors know they can check-in to your location; a nice poster or friendly member of staff can alert them to this!
3. Target local people with Facebook Ads. The targeting on Facebook Ads is very specific, so you could target users from your city and point them towards your places page. Combined with special offers, this could tempt users to come to your location and check in.
This is just scratching the surface of what’s possible. As Places grow bigger and used by more people, you can bet that more and more features will be added. And while Places is only currently available in the US, it will soon spread to cover more countries; so it’s a good idea to start your Places planning now!
Not on Facebook yet? What are you waiting for - get your Facebook Business Page now!
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