Last week, Facebook entered the location services game with the release of Facebook Places. Places is very similar to Foursquare, in that the feature allows users to “check-in” to local businesses to alert friends of where they are at any given time.
For business owners, Facebook Places provides a means of promoting your business increasing visibility and rewarding loyal customers. Each customer that checks into your business is sharing the name and location of your company with hundreds or thousands of online friends.
To register your business on Facebook Places, search for your business on Facebook Places. Click on the link that says “Is this your place of business?” and follow the verification prompts. Once you have claimed your business, you can update the location’s contact information, hours and profile picture.
Once you have successfully registered your business on Facebook Places, consider using Places as an additional advertising platform. Hang signage to encourage customers to check-in to the location. Remember that every check-in spreads the word about your business.
You can also use Facebook Places to attract new customers. Post a note on Facebook informing potential customers that they will receive a discount if they show that they have checked in to your business. Not only does this technique bring in new clients, it also creates viral advertising as customers share the check-in with their friends.
Use Facebook Places to reward loyal customers. Reach out to customers who frequently visit your business and offer coupons or promotions for additional visits or check-ins. Keeping loyal customers happy is an easy way to gain repeat business and ensure positive word of mouth referrals.
Encourage your existing customers to post notes, photos and comments about your business online. Perhaps reward customers who post feedback with special coupons or freebies.
Of course, any marketing plan needs to be tailored to the needs of your business. Claim your business on Facebook Places today, and create a detailed plan that makes sense for your company and your customers.