A Look at Facebook Places

A Look at Facebook Places

Facebook Places - location-based marketing

Image by dnfisher via Flickr

Social media giant Facebook has recently added a new application called Places, which is deigned to work with the geo-location feature that is standard with today’s smart phones.  Similar to services offered by Foursquare, Gowalla, and others, “Places” allows the user to “check-in” while visiting a location.

Despite some initial concerns over privacy, this new application is becoming very popular amongst Facebook’s 500-million+ users. So, what’s the big deal at Places? Why should you consider signing your company up? Here’s a quick run-down from the user’s point of view:

  1. Say you’ve arrived early for your next appointment. You notice that a friend just checked in at a nearby deli. So, you stop in and say hello.
  2. You notice several friends ‘checked in’ at the same salon. Next time you’re in the area, you want to stop by to check it out!
  3. Let’s say you are at a local mall. You can find out who is there that you know (if they’ve checked in)

The above examples, and many like them, offer numerous opportunities for the savvy shop owner who wants to increase foot traffic. Combining the “check-in” feature with coupons, or “frequent shopper specials”, and then combining both with a Facebook Page, creates a powerful marketing strategy that takes advantage of both social media and traditional promotional methods.

Separating Truth From Hype

Contrary to early concerns, your location won’t be posted every time you log into Facebook. ‘Checking in’ is available only via the iphone and touch.facebook phone applications.

On the other hand, others CAN post your location. Just like when they are tagging a photo or video, your friends can ‘tag’ you as being with them at a location. However, this feature can be disabled via your privacy settings even from your phone.

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Geo-location applications (like “Places”) are only going to expand. The time to claim your location is now. Contact us today to discuss how to leverage Places with your marketing strategy,

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