My Facebook status shows my around the world "friends" checking in from Costco, Singapore airport, some bar and grill, etc. etc. I am then totally apprised of what they are up to.
I'm sure you heard about Facebook Places. And f you are a savvy social networker and an iphone user, you've probably already used Facebook Places. If you use your iphone app to access Facebook, a new option for "Places" will be presented to you. You can choose from a various venues presented to you and "check in".
Friends can check you in too, assuming you've agreed to use the service. Or you can say prevent friends from checking you in or disabling that feature completely. Each time a friend checks you in, you'll get notified.
So what's the point of all this "Check-In" activity?
Well, from a Facebook perspective, Facebook wants you to share everything. Who knows what else they'll come up with so that more and more "sharing" happens, lol.
And from a "marketing" perspective, this is great information right? People are sharing information and using the site and there's data galore available to figure out preferences by gender, age, etc. For business owners, leveraging the power of Facebook to promote their company's offerings to people who'll tell people who'll tell people.
So are you ready?
When you have something that’s being used by half a billion people, it’s bound to have a huge immediate impact. So can your business when it is featured on your Place Page.
Facebook Places is a smart-phone location check-in feature that will allow you to share your location, find the location of your friends, and discover new places based on other Facebook user recommendations – much like Loopt, Foursquare and Yelp! provide.
Facebook Places has exploded as a habitual way of connecting. With people migrating their location check-ins to the network where they spend most of their time already – Facebook, it is a suite of advertising tools that provides you a way to list, claim and advertise your business.
You can grab your friend’s attention to your Place page by adding a story about your place page that talks all about your business on your profile. Data that you can collect on users and amount of times they check in will prove extremely valuable in tracking customers and advertising spend. What this means is that the customer that comes in every day can now be tracked and even incentivized to get a free gift for every tenth check-in. It’s like the digital/social version of the loyalty card.
And more so, people are talking and telling others about your business therefore this has the potential for generating new referrals!
Offering coupons and special offers for people who check in is a natural way to tap the power of using online tools to drive offline sales. You can also make this more appealing and catchy by creating polls and inviting comments about your business. You can reward those who bring potential customers to your place page or share their experience with your business by offering them exclusive discounts or special offers.
All in all, Facebook Places is here to stay and I predict that advertisers will start becoming creative for leveraging Facebook Places.