Facebook, the most popular social networking site in the world, recently added a check-in feature to its mobile phone application. Now, customers can check-in at your business on Facebook using a mobile device. It provides you with valuable information about your customers and offers many advertising opportunities.
- Before You Start: You have a business that relies on walk-in business. It helps to have a business Facebook business (official) page, but that isn’t required.
- Learning Level: 2 | Getting Started
- Article Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Facebook Places Basics
Facebook Places is the location-based service from Facebook that combines social networking and location-based services. Launched in late summer 2010, it brings check-in services to many of its 500 million users. Facebook Places allows customers to check-in when they arrive at your business. They can share their check-in as a status update on Facebook, and can see when Facebook friends check in at your business.
Facebook has mobile applications for the iPhone, and all mobile users can use it with access to their mobile website (touch.facebook.com).
Your Business Details And Activity
Facebook ties check-ins at your business to a place page for your business. A place page is generated by Facebook when others mention your business and is separate from your business (official) page. However, if people check in a your business using Facebook Places, you can claim the place page.
If your business isn’t listed in Facebook Places, you need a Facebook account to add it. While you are physically at your business, start the Facebook Places check in process from your mobile phone. You can only add a new business using your current location. The new business form is simple and collects only the name and a brief description. You cannot edit your business information on Facebook Places.
The most valuable information here are the statistics that show you the number of people who have checked in at your business. Facebook doesn’t share the names of the people who check in unless you are personally friends with them or if they have set their privacy settings to allow anyone to see their check ins.
Like many Facebook features, Places is geared toward the individual Facebook user and not the business owner. Over time, you can expect Facebook to address more business owner questions and benefits and begin to incorporate check-ins with your other business page features.
Your turn: Have you been monitoring customer check-ins at your business through Facebook Places? How does Facebook Places compare to other check-in services? Share your experience.