How Facebook Places Can Help Your Business
Facebook Places is a tool which has been specifically designed to help users share their favorite locations with friends and others, and to help them discover new places of interest. It’s a geo-locational tool which allows users to check in at locations they visit, anywhere from a favorite restaurant to an exciting new boutique in town.
Then you can share any updates you might have with all your connections, and it will include a map and pin which shows exactly where this place of interest is it located. It should be easy to see how Facebook Places can be used to advantage by small businesses. Once you set up a location for your business, it will be much easier for people to share their experiences and to update their friends on how to reach you. In essence, it helps convert users into your agents so that they do much of the legwork for you of getting your business recognized and located.
How it works
Whenever any user creates a post using their Facebook app, they are given the option to include their current location. If they do choose to add in location, the app will display a list of locations nearby which the user can choose from. They will also have the opportunity to add in a location of their choosing if it’s not shown in the displayed list. Once they have selected or added in their own location, they’ll be able to include any kind of text or photos that they want, and they’ll also be able to tag friends with the post.
Benefits of Facebook Places
Check-ins are extremely important for local businesses, in that they increase visibility on Facebook, and make it a whole lot easier for first-time customers to locate you. This won’t be as important for repeat customers, but for those who have only visited your establishment once, twice, or not at all, it can be extremely helpful. It’s also a big advantage to your business that the update is provided by a legitimate user rather than coming from your business page. This is true because people are much more likely to read posts issued by their friends than they are from any other sources.
Facebook also has a feature called Place Tips, which provides visitors with little snippets of information about places which they have been known to visit. For instance, if you have previously visited a restaurant, it might show a line or two from the menu, or it might show the specialty of the house to entice you. The basic function of Place Tips is to summarize the most talked about content on the specific location, and post a snippet of information about it. It can help users to make a choice about which restaurant to go to, and it just might feature something you’re really interested in.
Places vs Pages
Facebook Places are not the same thing as Facebook Pages, and that means you don’t automatically have a business listing in Facebook Places just because you do have a listing on Facebook Pages. However, it is possible to merge the two so that when searchers are checking in at your location, anyone else who clicks on the post could be instantly directed to your real Facebook Page.
For a long time, Facebook Pages and Facebook Places were two separate entities, but Facebook did eventually realize that many businesses wanted to merge their Facebook Place and their Facebook Page, so they could have greater control over the two. That’s why it is now possible to merge the two features, and have streamlined control over both.
Adding your business
In order to get signed up for Facebook Places, there’s a couple different approaches you might make use of. For a business which is just signing up for its Facebook Page, you can select Local Business as the specific business category you’re interested in. This will give you the ability to include your address, and then Facebook will automatically connect your business page with your location.
It will also be possible for other individuals to add your location when they check in. If places have already been added for your business, you’ll be able to search for your business name on Facebook, and check the results which appear under Places. Click on any of these and go to the page, where you’ll see a link which asks ‘Know the Owner?’ When you are directed to the next page, you can go through the process of claiming it, and after that, the information will be directed to your business page.
Making the most of Facebook Places
In order to make the most of Facebook Places, you have to give Internet users a reason to want to check in at your place of business. For example, you could initiate a promotion wherein your brand might offer a free medium-size coffee to customers who display their check-in to the representative at the counter. Whatever kind of business you’re in, you just have to come up with some incentive that will make customers want to check in at your Facebook Place, and help to popularize your business.
This is extremely effective, because it can help you reach a lot more people on Facebook in a very organic way, without you having to pay for any kind of advertising. You can also encourage more people to check in at your establishment simply by ensuring that everyone has a great experience with your business. You can then make them aware or remind them, that you’d love to have them check in at your place to encourage more participation.
It’s a well-known fact that more customers are happy to share their experience about a business when they are extremely impressed with some aspect of that business. Maybe it could be your outstanding customer service, or the terrific products that you offer, but do something to make sure your guests have a positive experience.
Keep in mind that if anything were to happen during their visit to give them a negative impression of your business, the impact on the Internet could be just the opposite, and people could be discouraged from coming to your establishment. With all this in mind, do everything possible to encourage more check-in’s, and do your very best to provide the best possible customer experience for all your guests.
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