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Does FB Places have a place in your strategy?

September 2, 2010 | By | No Comments

facebook placesOh, the Places You’ll Go – Does FB Places have a place in your strategy?

When Dr. Seuss published his classic poem in 1990, he—like the rest of us—likely had no idea of the place we’d be in 2010: the internet, a virtual world with its own rules, culture, and language. Now, Facebook, home to more than half a billion users, has launched Facebook Places, which gives users the ability to take their real-life location and share it with the world.

While businesses with markets in urban areas have been familiar with similar geolocation platforms, like Foursquare and Yelp, other managers and execs might be unfamiliar with the concept. Here’s a quickie guide to how to use Facebook’s version of “checking in.”

How does Facebook Places work?

This app allows a user to broadcast their physical location via an iPhone or touch device, letting friends know where he or she is hanging out. For example, if you “check-in” while you’re at the local watering hole, presumably your good-time pals will see it and come over to join the fun.

How does it fit into my overall strategy?

Unlike other location services like Yelp and Foursquare, Facebook already has a user base that’s half-a-billion strong, according to PC World’s Tony Bradley. This gives it a definite advantage over other geolocation services, which, until now, have been much more popular in urban centers than suburban and rural areas.

Since FB Places is still in its infancy, there’s not yet a way to directly target users who have checked into your business. But, rest assured, developers will soon find a real-time way to connect businesses with their visitors.

I’m not a retail store or restaurant…why do I need to be on Facebook Places?

Even if you’re in the wholesale warehouse biz, you’ll still want to stake a claim to your location. As Tony Bradley writes, doing so allows you to post accurate information, including hours and contact info as well as setting controls to authorize who can alter info on Places. You will need to provide verification information, such as an EIN number or business license. It might seem an inconvenience, but it’s the price for ensuring your Place isn’t hijacked by a disgruntled employee or unprofessional competitor. For more information on staking your claim on Places, see this quick start guide on All Facebook.

If you need more information, such as how to leverage the potential of Facebook Pages (and any other new service that comes along), contact the team who can help put you on the social media map, Social Strategy1.

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