Why you need to know about Facebook Places

On August 18, 2010 Facebook launched their new Facebook Places application in the US (they always get the good stuff first…). Soon, this will be available to Canadians. Facebook’s geo-locations service allows you and your customers to see where your friends are and share your location in the real world. When you use Places, you’ll be able to see if any of your friends are currently checked in nearby and connect with them easily.

I’m sure you’re sick and tired of hearing Facebook this, and Facebook that. Or, you are just as excited as we are about all the possibilities. We think it’s important to keep our clients up to date on the latest and most important information and trends in new technology… and we had to let you know about this.

Therefore, we created this advisory to:

a) Inform you about Facebook Places

b) Give you a heads up that you will want to claim your business ‘Place’ as soon as the tool is released

Q: What is Facebook Places?

A: For those of you who are familiar with Foursquare or Gowalla, Facebook Places will allow users to create and check into places. This way, you can see where your friends are, and you can find new places in your city (ie. learn about a new restaurant or retail store). This concept has already proven successful with its early creators.

Q: What does this mean from a marketing perspective?

A: The simple answer is: We don’t know, but it’s going to be big!

It remains to be seen exactly what Facebook’s plans are. However, if history is any indication, Facebook will integrate this new feature into it’s pre-existing tools that are all designed to allow your brand to engage with its followers. For example, it is expected that each Facebook Place will allow companies to integrate their existing Fan Page with this new Places listing – thus creating a shareable contact page. Furthermore, it could be that

Facebook Pages integrates a rating system similar to Yelp, which allows social networks to share user reviews of local businesses. And there are rumors that the gaming aspects that are available through Foursquare and Gowalla will eventually be available through Facebook, through advanced forms of virtual currency (virtual currency is similar to airline miles. They’re symbolic currencies you can accumulate and then switch them into something you care about).

Q: But why is this important?

A: Because when Facebook gets involved, they literally get everyone involved. We’re talking about 500 million users in total. More than half of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 55 are on Facebook. Facebook Places will give your business another opportunity to reach your customers, and you’ll want to put your best foot forward. And if your brand doesn’t already have an online presence and are taking advantage of your customer’s social networks, then you should be.

In early September, 2010 (rumored to be September 3) Canadian businesses will be able to claim their Place on Facebook. Ultimately, much like Google Places, your business is going to be added to Facebook and we are sure you would like your information to be accurate.

Q: Why does my business need to claim it’s Facebook Place?

A: Because, similar to registering your domain name (ie. www.springadvertising.com) claiming your business will allow you control over your business. By claiming your Place you can manage your Place’s address, contact information, business hours, profile picture, admins and other settings.

We will post another announcement as soon as the launch has occurred. For those companies that do not have a social media presence, please contact your account executive to learn more about Spring’s social media department. Spring has helped many of our clients to set up and manage their presence on Facebook. We’d be happy to share with you some of our most recent successful case studies.

You can stay tuned to all the most recent exciting news coming out of Spring, and to keep up to date on the latest marketing trends by reading this blog, where we write throughout the week. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Cheers!

Team Spring

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