Facebook recently released the information about their new location-based marketing tool so humbly titled “places”. When looking at the basics of places, all of the features seem to be right on compared to the likes of Foursquare and Gowalla. Although people called this the Foursquare killer, Foursquare and location-based marketers alike seem excited to integrate with the new Facebook feature. (Hmm, maybe it has to do with the 500 million users Facebook bring in?) However, although there are some similarities, Facebook did what they do best. (Take it to the next level)
How it works:
Like most location-based marketing tools you are able to check-in at a location via a GPS capable smart phone, and when you check-in you have the option whether or not you would like your location to be displayed to your friends, which is very similar to the features other companies like Foursquare offer. Then things start to get a little different from here on out. Not only do you know where your friends are, but also if you’re checked in nearby another friend, Facebook will send you a notification. This is a feature that has never been offered before, and one that could create some interesting interactions with Facebook friends.
Here’s a neat little video about places courtesy of Facebook:
Ok, so places seems pretty cool, but I know what you’re all thinking… How can this benefit my business? Well let me fill you in.
How it can benefit your business:
Facebook places is not only a great new feature for the facebook community, but can create a whole new way for companies to market themselves towards consumers. Every location on Facebook places will have its own page, a page that can be claimed by the business owner. This can create great awareness of a business because every time someone checks in to your establishment it will be displayed on the consumers’ newsfeed for all of his/her friends to see, this can also draw new people in to the business with the new discovery feature. Another feature that seems to be in the works is something I am personally going to title “proximity promoting”. Imagine checking in to your favorite clothing store, and you get a notification saying “Buy two shirts get one free” from the exact store you are in. Something like this “proximity promoting” can be a great opportunity to get consumers to buy right then and there.
Facebook places seems like an overall benefit for consumers and business owners a like, and adds a whole new aspect of marketing amongst consumers never seen before. Just make sure that your business gets familiar with this new feature so when 500 million users are using places (which a large majority will be), you can take your business to a whole new level.