For a while now, small businesses have been using Facebook to connect with their target audience, promote their products and services, and drive traffic to their website. Now, with advancements in targeting and location features, Facebook even further facilitates local online marketing. However, these additional features also mean that fully setting up your Facebook Business Page is a bit more involved. In fact, your page is no longer the only means of marketing your business. If your business has a brick-and-mortar location, then you’ll also want to get your business set up on Facebook Places. In this post we’ll explain how Facebook Places work, as well as how to take advantage of them for your business.
Facebook Places is a geolocation (and mobile marketing) feature on Facebook by which users check into certain locations via their mobile phones. When a user checks in at a location, Facebook generates a post for them with a map and pin of the location’s address.
Facebook Places is an excellent location based mobile marketing tool. Users check in when they want to share with their friends exactly where they are, and also when they want to express their affinity for that particular place. Check-ins help users find their friends more easily, and also help to promote your business.
You can even run check-in deals to incentivize people to check in, such as:
Facebook Places is not just a way for users who are already at your business to promote it. It is also a means by which new and relevant users can discover it—through Nearby Places. Nearby Places is essentially the Places directory that allows mobile users to find local businesses near them. They can choose to see all local businesses, or to filter by category. Facebook then serves up the most relevant results based on their location as well as which businesses their friends are liking recommending, and checking into.
Something unique about Facebook Places is that you can still create a Facebook Place even if you do not have a Facebook Page. However, it is best to have a Facebook Page, as you can then merge your Page with your Place.
(Reminder!: You must have a brick-and-mortar location to have a Facebook Place). There are two ways to create a Facebook Place for your business. If you set the category of your business page to “Local Business”, Facebook will add you to its Places directory. If you do not have a Page, you can simply attempt to check in to your business while at it’s physical location. If a business doesn’t show up, Facebook provides the opportunity to add a place.
However, any user can create a Facebook Place for any business. In order to create a Facebook Place for your business and maintain control over it, you must also claim your Place.
Just like with claiming your Facebook Page, claiming your Facebook Place gives you full control over what is posted and allows you to see exactly who is checking in. To claim your Facebook Place:
1. Search for your business’ name on Facebook, look for the “Places” results.
2. If your business already shows up under “Places,” click on it and go to the page
3. Click on the link titled “Know the Owner?” that will appear in the left column, and click “Is This Your Business?” A pop-up window will appear asking if you’re an official representative of the physical location.
4. Click the verification check box, then click the “Proceed with Verification” button to launch a claiming-process page
5. Enter your business information, including your business’ name, address, phone number, website, third-party listing, and your personal relationship with the company. Once these have been filled out, click “Continue.”
6. You will be sent an email asking to verify that you are the owner of the business. Once you verify the information and add any additional information that you feel is necessary, hit “Submit” to finalize claiming your Place.
The Facebook Places feature is an incredibly useful for local brick-and-mortar business. By setting up a complete Facebook business page, claiming your Place, and merging your Page with your Place, you can greatly enhance your visibility, credibility, and discoverability. Take the time now to get your business into Places, and let others save you time by doing the marketing for you!
Related: 2017 Marketing Calendar