Location based networking has become a big hit over the past 12 months due to the development of new GPS technologies and platforms like FourSquare and Gowalla being constantly introduced and updated.
Therefore, it came as no surprise when Facebook decided to get in on the action last year and set up Facebook Places.
This addition allows normal users to do lots of different things, such as check-in to events, tag friends at specific locations and see which friends are nearby.
However, it also opens up a range of different opportunities for businesses, such as claiming the location of your business and controlling important information.
Here are some of the first steps to take in order to set up your business with Facebook Places:
1. Claim your business
To claim your business location you need to follow Facebook’s simple process, which involves a quick phone verification.
Once claimed you then have control over a lot of different factors, such as contact information, opening hours and profile pictures.
If you can’t claim your business or you’re having difficulty, Facebook has a brief troubleshooting guide.
2. Merge the place with your page
This option is only available in limited areas but will soon be rolled out all around the globe.
Once you’ve claimed your place, you can merge it with your current business Facebook page, which changes the layout to look more like a business page that you’d find on a local directory website.
You don’t have to merge the place with the page, it will certainly suit some businesses better than others.
3. Tell employees and clients
Let everyone who you do business with know that you’re now set up on Facebook Places and they’ll be more likely to check-in when they visit.
Although it may seem handy to be able to control all of your information, what does this really mean for businesses, promoting your services and most importantly attracting more customers?
Well, after Facebook introduced Places it went on to introduce Deals. Facebook Deals was launched in the US last year but has only just come to the UK in the past few months.
Basically it allows users to see which nearby shops, restaurants or businesses are offering discounts and then gives them the opportunity to check-in to certain places using their mobile phones in order to receive these special offers. For instance, when it was first launched in the UK, Starbucks offered a free coffee to those who checked-in.
Deals has many benefits for businesses as it provides them with a way to build loyalty among customers and spread details of deals and discounts to wider networks of people. It also plays on the current popular trend to hunt for deals in local areas, which has been catapulted into the limelight by popular group buying platform Groupon.
At the moment the Deals functionality is only available to businesses in the US or those in the UK that contact Facebook directly in order to set one up. For more information about how to set up a deal for your business, visit Facebook Deals Support.
Although some of these features aren’t all available in the UK yet, they’re sure to be rolled out to everyone soon and when they are they could really change the way you do business.
To find out more about how you and your company could be using Facebook Places or Deals then contact one of the Codastar team and we’ll be happy to talk you through the process or even set everything up for you.
Images via Facebook.