Facebook is already the best in the business when it comes to social networking sector and now it seems that they are all set to take over the location based check in services as well. In an attempt to tie up the virtual life with the regular life that we lead every day, Facebook has launched the “Facebook Places” service, through which users can track the location of their friends, share their own location or check out the latest happenings around their locality. This facility can be accessed via an iPhone or from a Facebook Touch Mobile Site only, but there are plans of implementing this feature for Blackberry users in near future. For now, it has been launched for United States users only; International release dates have not been announced yet.
For a local business, Facebook places has come as a bless in disguise. Wonder why?
Connect with local people
For a local business, the target market is local people and it is more important to reach them with your services or products rather than others. For an example, if you are selling dairy products through a San Francisco store, you don’t need to make Washington inhabitants aware of your offerings. Those from Washington are not very likely to visit your restaurant so you know who your primary audiences are. In the very beginning, you need to tag people interested in your business (It gets easier if you already have a Facebook page devoted to your business from where you can easily pick up fans), then add your business and check it. Now, you can find people related to your business and most importantly who are nearby your business and likely to visit it.
At the same time, local people will be able to find your business quite easily through Facebook places service. So, it’s a both way benefit for your local business.
Page facility comes with places
Find the location where your business is situated, then add your business there at that location. The same thing can be done by any other Facebook user as well. Now, when you click the link “Is this page your business?”, it will automatically become a Facebook page for your business (You need to claim your business through a dialog box opened though) and you can create updates, share some piece of news with your customers via the page.
Remember, to claim your business, you need to upload your license or some other related information of your business. So, including your business to places mean you are authenticated and therefore, your customers can keep faith in your business.
Praising Customers and keeping them
Facebook places can easily help you out to keep your existing customers as well. Encourage your customers to post their favorable experience regarding your business. This is simple word of mouth publicity for your local business. For certain number of check-ins, give them discounts. Somehow, if your local business becomes a leader among all the places, more and more customers will know about it and profits will pour in.
Though, some security issues have been raised by many, Facebook places service is surely a new feature that can turn local businesses into gold mines provided it is used properly.