How to utilize Facebook Places and your Small Business:
Most Importantly Own Your Place
While some, perhaps your competition, will be slow to embrace Places, it is yet another opportunity to drive the message of your brand. Be the first to go through the process of Claiming Your Place so that you can manage how it’s being read by those who are checking-in or are curious because they’re seeing their friends Check-in at your Place. Add some personality to add authenticity and give yet another reason to visit (beyond meeting with you).
Study Your Competition
Keep tabs on the way your competition is using Places and be ready to make counter-offers via advertising, which I’m sure will be available soon, to those who are visiting your competition.
Be Aggressive, Seek the Check-Ins
Make no mistake, you want people to Check-in at your Place which will broadcast to their network that your Business matters enough to that person to physically visit. Therefore, be proactive and ask visitors (and staff) to participate by checking-in. If possible, stage an entire area of the room where folks are asked to “Check-in” with a cut-out of your brand for a photo-op, to collect swag, or simply engage them with a playful little ask. Forget the guest log – replace it with your public Facebook Place.
Seek User Engagement on Check-ins Interaction is Key
Every piece of content you add to Facebook is an opportunity to get engagement – - and you absolutely want those who check-in seeking engagement from their community to help spread your Place even further through the Social Graph. Perhaps you could hold a contest where if a user is able to get 50 “Likes” on a check-in you reward that person with a great piece of swag.
Have Users Tell Stories About Your Place
Like a recommendation on LinkedIn, ask your clients or top customers to give a review of your place. Ask them to share a story about your Place — perhaps a great idea session you all had or a gathering where they connected with someone really great. Tap into the emotions that make your place unique.
Anytime Facebook launches a feature that could potentially change the entire world overnight, it’s important to ensure you’re comfortable with embracing that feature by checking out your Facebook Privacy settings. And most importantly have fun and make money!