Facebook Places is the newest entrant in the emerging location apps field. It allows members of Facebook to share where they are, not just what they are doing. And with over half a billion potential users, it would be foolish to ignore this.
Right now there's no real advertising platform for businesses to take advantage on Places, but it's only a matter of time. (Facebook probably doesn't want to scare off users who have legitimate privacy concerns. Better to get them addicted to the benefits of location sharing, then sell their location, information, and DNA to the highest bidder. But I digress.)
If you own a business and wanted to get into Places the first thing you need to do is see if your business already exists. You can search for your business in the search bar at Facebook or use the recently updated Facebook iPhone app to check in while you're at your place of business.
If your business isn't listed you'll want to create a new place. According to the Places FAQ, here's how:
To create a new place, follow these steps:
- Access the Places application on your supported device.
- Click "Check In."
- Click the "Add" button to the left of the Places Names search box.
- Enter a name for the new Place as well as an optional description of it. Then, click the "Add" button at the bottom right of the page.
- You will then have the option to both write a description of what you are doing at the new Place, and/or tag your friends there
- Click the "Check In" button to share your visit.
The default location for any new Place you create will be where you are currently located. Also, keep in mind that any Place that you create is public. This means that other people may see your created Place while browsing Facebook or the Places application.
Once your business place exists you'll want to claim it. You'll want to visit the page for your business's Place. Important: this is not the same as your business's Facebook page, assuming you have it. At the bottom of this page is a link asking Is This Your Business? Click it.
Then you'll have to agree to this alert box:
This will take you to a page where Facebook asks for a helluva lot of information. Facebook asks for two items that are out-of-the-ordinary compared to other location-based apps such as Foursquare and Gowalla: your Federal Employee Identification Number (if applicable) and some form of official documentation, including:
- Articles of Certificate of Incorporation (for a corporation)
- Certificate of Formation (for a partnership)
- Local Business License (issued by your city, county or state) or
- Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accreditation
After you submit all that (no blood sample required...yet) you'll get to the final screen which will either fill you with relief or anxiety, depending on how full you see your glass and whether you've ever had to wait on the Facebook Team to get back to you.
See you on Facebook Places!