social media expert interviewIn this episode of Social Media Examiner TV, Mari Smith examines Facebook Places.  If you operate a local business, you’ve likely heard all the buzz about Facebook Places.  As a user, you also might be concerned about privacy.

This video is designed to help you understand what Facebook Places could mean for your business.  It also examines privacy concerns for users.  At the end of the show, Mari shares a hot Facebook marketing tip you won’t want to miss.

Share your feedback, see the show notes and discover how you can be part of a future show below!

What Is Facebook Places?

Facebook Places is a location-based service.  Other examples of location-based services include Foursquare and Gowalla.

Users sign into Facebook Places using their mobile phones and let their friends know where they are.  On Foursquare there’s also a game element where users can earn badges and points and become the “mayor” of a location. It’s fun.

Location-based services are great for brick-and-mortar businesses because they can use these services to encourage people to come into their location. Watch the video to discover what Facebook Places could mean for your business.

Facebook Places Versus Foursquare

An interesting question came in on Social Media Examiner’s Facebook Page about how Facebook Places compares to Foursquare.

facebook places question

Although Foursquare seems more interesting today, you’ll want to see what Mari has to say about Facebook Places and why you should pay attention to it.

What Users Need to Know About Privacy

Facebook Places users need to pay attention to their privacy settings. Follow Mari’s step-by-step instructions in the above video and you’ll be able to control exactly who sees your updates on Facebook Places.  Also see this video for added privacy settings.

How to Add Your Business on Facebook Places

Local businesses need to claim their business location on Facebook Places and Mari shows you how in the video.

facebook places add a place

After you’ve added your business, when people come into the vicinity, the name of your business will come up on Facebook Places.

What’s Next With Facebook Places?

Facebook Places will evolve significantly over time, including integration with third party apps. For example, reports, “… Context Optional released its first version of a customized Places application as part of its Social Marketing Suite subscription.”

Pages administrators can use the app to install a The Facebook Places Check-In Leaderboard as a tab called ‘Check-Ins.’ The Leaderboard allows brands to recognize which Facebook users are checking into their retail stores or restaurants, name users a ‘Top Fan’ and consequently award them Facebook-specific promotions and offers.” Now this is very good news for local businesses looking to further tap into the massive Facebook database!

Find out what else Mari has to say about the future of Facebook Places and who should participate today. Don’t forget to listen for the Facebook marketing tip Mari shares at the end!

If you enjoy this episode of Social Media Examiner TV, make sure to tweet about it (use hashtag #SMEtv), share it on Facebook or even embed it on your blog.

We want to hear from you! Do you use Facebook Places? If so, what has been your experience?  Leave us a comment below. Also let us know what you’d like to see in future episodes.

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  • A good roundup of FB places, thanks! Of particular value are the instructions for adding your business to FB places and the “What’s Next” section

  • Thanks Seth! Glad you like it

  • Great overview! Don’t forget SCVNGR in your next LBS highlight []. It’s a great way for businesses to participate and engage with customers who are checking-in.

  • Great post and video as usual! And the icing on the cake is I’m shown at 3:47 on the video – checking in!

    Have a DYNAMITE day and weekend!

  • Cool Wes 🙂

  • Thanks for this great article you sharing with us.

  • Hey Wes!! Way cool, your name up in lights!!! hehee Have a super day too. 🙂

  • Oh neato, I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks, Kimberly!!

  • Mari, thanks for a crisp overview of Facebook Places. As you mentioned in the video, it is just a start; Facebook folks are going to slam with business friendly features in the months to come. Right time for marketers to get on board.

  • Thank you!! Most definitely — the tip of the iceberg! 🙂

  • Mark-John Clifford

    Great video as usual Mari. Thanks for all of the info. I am using Facebook Places and I plan on trying to use it for events we will be having throughout the year through our non-profit. Don’t know if it’s ready for that but sooner or later I hope it can used that way.

  • Ebendavis

    Can Facebook Places be integrated into an existing Custom Fan Page without changing the layout?

  • Cordelia

    Great video-informative both from a strategic perspective and with actual “how to” info. We will be implementing it soon!

  • Wow! Excellent overview on FB Places! Thanks so much! I run a local-based small biz group where we share online tips and strategies. This is very useful! I will be sure to forward this onto them.

    Mari or Michael, could you please answer this question:

    When I post something on my FAN page, does it automatically show up on everyone’s news feed who is a FAN on my Fan page? Or, does it depend on FB algorithms? If so, could you please explain? I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  • FYI _ I’ve gotten traction on FB by asking silly little questions like “Does your bird dunk their food?” – more than 40 comments

  • Nice job Mari! Also, just an FYI, if you can’t find your “places page” on Facebook make sure to claim your local listing in “Bing”. Once your listing is verified there it should show up.

  • Brenda, it depends. The more engagement you can get from a post or status update (i.e. comments, likes, shares), the better opportunity you have to get visibility.

  • Thanks Stephanie! Do you know where I can get more info to help me understand how that is determined? Any link, site, or article you recommend? Appreciate your help!

  • For starters, this site is a terrific resource! There is no public “formula” available, and really it’s just more of an educated guess in understanding how one might show up in the news feeds of fans. I’ve read it here and there but don’t recall specific sites. Sorry! Do some experimenting with your page and really focus on getting fans engaged. That will bring you the most success. Good luck!

  • Facebook Places intrigues me, but not for the same reasons that Facebook tells me it should.

    What I predict happening within the next two years is this:

    Facebook will integrate it’s check-in data with it’s advertising data. It keeps on par with the way that Facebook has rolled out it’s previous products, including their ad platform and the social graph api.

    What this will essentially mean is that if you choose to use Facebook places, they’ll have a very detailed understanding of who you are, based on what you “like” and “where you’re at” Which could essentially be the first steps to a paradigm shift for the marketing industry.

    Think about it. Facebook is collecting the data that could eventually power a type engine. But instead of giving just music recommendations, they’ll can give life style recommendations. It’s both brilliant, and absolutely terrifying.

  • Tania Shirgwin

    Great overview of FB Places. Can’t wait for it to be rolled out to the rest of the world.

  • That is brilliant!!! Just goes to show you we all love to chime in to a conversation that’s uniquely relevant to *us*! 🙂

  • Aloha Mari,

    Thank you for always providing us with the latest about Facebook! I really love your new videos! It’s easier to watch than to just read some instructions. I love when you show us where to go on the video to make any changes.

    Much aloha,
    Kellie 🙂

  • Thanks for the overview! Do you have a sense for how it is taking FB to process business Places claims? I put mine in several days ago and not a peep yet.

    And roger that on asking a question – folks really seem to enjoy that!

    @Tommy the info I’ve read about FB Places indicates they are already well down that road. Once you have your Place claimed apparently you can promote it with ads.

  • Great video guide 🙂

  • Brenda, no one really knows for sure how it works exactly. However some of the FB experts presenting at have done this for enough clients to figure out how to achieve fb news feed optimization and will be presenting on the topic

  • I have heard that Foursquare and Facebook Places may be integrating in some kind of way. Have you heard this? Do you think that they will play nicely together rather than compete?

  • Pauline

    This is the first time I have visited this site. While this particular blog did not apply to me. I greatly appreciate the clarity of the info. Have bookmarked this for future reference. Thanks for this advice.

  • Mari, thanks for the overview and judging from the comments, many insights and applications for FB Places awaits us all!And I’m “stoked” that I’ve indirectly already been part of one Social Media Examiner’s shows! LOL Just check my little mug out, at 3:48 in the video. :-)Always a pleasure to follow your info and advice…Ed Bisquera on Facebook Ed and Twitter Ed

  • Mari… this great resource. however I have a question for you!What do you think would be the advantages and/or disadvantages of creating/claiming a place for home-business owners? I see this as a great tool for any business that has a “business place” or located in a commercial area but what about those who run theirs from home? There are lots of Entrepreneurs who don’t have a physical location but their house, apartments, bedroom.. Do you think this can hurt the business itself? Many people like to see “a real business” location…

  • thanks for the video, nice review and great explanations,

    Microsoft has found a nice way to collect data for bingmap too 🙂

  • Mari – Maybe I missed this, but once you claim a Facebook Places Page, how can you merge it with an existing Official Page? I claimed the Places Page for Inbound Zombie and Facebook went ahead and created a completely separate Page… You’d think that Facebook would allow merging to accommodate this seemingly common situation. You’d also think that Facebook would build in conditional logic into the process: “This user has a Facebook Page with the same exact name as their existing Facebook Page”.

  • Hey Wes, looks like I got lit up on the video too! 🙂 I feel privileged to be in such great company! Have a great week…


  • Very useful overview. Another interesting service with a different twist by allowing “societies” around specific interests is Whirrl.

  • Hey Mari, great useful video. The idea of publishing content to people who check into your locations makes this application all the more valuable! I think for a lot of small businesses not knowing what to do with geo-location marketing can be very intimidating. Thanks for narrowing it down in such a simple and explanatory way!

  • Is there any way to add a “FB place” to an existing business fan page? Every time I try to add my “place”, FB wants to create a brand new fan page. Can these 2 be connected, or do I need to start over. I do not want to loose all of my existing “fans” by creating this new “place/page”

  • Hey John – indeedy, the Places Page + Fan Page merging is a challenge!! As you know, when a new location is checked into for the first time, Facebook automatically creates a Place Page. It contains a map, address, number of checkins + comments and a tad more info. The business owner can then claim that new Place Page (by clicking the link at the foot “Is this your business?”).Here’s what I understand so far about merging (after doing much research on this topic myself!): IF, at that time of claiming, you are not presented with an option to merge the Place Page with your Fan Page, then merging is not yet available to you. I can only assume that as Places is still in beta and being rolled out worldwide/sitewide, that we’ll continue to see improvements, including the option to merge retroactively. Meantime, frustrating as it is, you’d need to manage two Pages. BUT, if there are not that many check-ins, it’s not worth being concerned about. If there are a number of check-ins regularly, then there is potential to use the Place Page as another (separate) marketing tool until such time that you can merge. See these resources for additional info – though I imagine you’ve trawled them yourself already given the work you do too – I’m including here for others’ benefit as well:Facebook’s Help with Places:!/help/?topic=placesPlaces for Advertisers (useful info whether you/your clients intent to advertise or not): Guide to Places for Advertisers (useful info whether you/your clients intent to advertise or not): PDF is the only place I’ve seen FB talk about merging other than this uber brief FAQ: could use this form to submit feedback about being unable to merge a Place Page & Fan Page: this form for general feedback about Places: Places bugs and known issues:

  • Great questions, Scott — please refer to my answer to John Haydon above as that should help answer your question too!

  • What a fantastic video! I thought I knew Facebook, but this is new to me. I know some local business owners that I’m going to share this with.

    Twitter: @mikepedersen
    Facebook: mikepedersen

  • Ahhh excellent question, Jhonny. I am *not* a fan at all of disclosing home addresses. Period. Really, these LBS – location based services – are geared towards businesses that actually get foot traffic. So, unless you have clients coming to visit you at your home office, I would not register yourself (check in) on Facebook Places. T

    hat’s just my opinion. I’m still very tentative about LBS, privacy, security. If you talk to mega LBS fans, they’ll tell you they have a “check in” for every room in the house. There’s also “off the grid” as a location (on FourSquare anyway).

    Frankly, if I were you, I’d focus on the proven social media marketing tools that likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer.

    From a user perspective, I was using FSQ for awhile and would make sure I always left a Tip so that when any of my FSQ friends showed up at that venue, my Tip would pop up creating nice “top of mind awareness.” BUT, how do you measure that? Jury’s still out for me as actual benefits to USERS of the LBS platforms.

    Hope this helps some and thanks so much for the ping on my page and by email!!!

  • Oh wow – great advice, Stephanie – thanks a mil!!

  • Jhonny Serrano

    Thank YOU… I love that TIP… leaving a TIP at where you checked in using FSQ: — my Tip would pop up creating nice “top of mind awareness.”– That’s great… I think, even though there are many things you do you can’t measure, I would count those as a way to create awareness about “YOU.Inc” brand… people don’t need to know what kind of business we do in order to have a good reference from us… it’s all stick to what we really are and to provide value, even as just a regular individual person that we are!Thank you Mari!

  • Smurphy

    Hi Mari, I work on a hotels facebook page in Ireland and have heard about facebook places. I cant seem to find how to sign up for facebook places for our business and I am interested in doing so. Can you help me out?

  • Great article and video,really glad I came across this site,full of quality content,keep up the good work!

  • Excellent video and explanation of Facebook Places!

  • Hi There

    Love the video podcast – thanks. However We run about 30 venues in the UK. There seems no real way – or one that I can see of managing this centrally, and being able to verify without putting a work email address as a secondary email in one of our managers personal profiles.

    Has anyone else come across this and resolved it? I’m sure many of our venues will already be listed – probably most with inaccurate information, but I want to try and get all venues on this especially as Deals are coming

    Hits and tips would be great!



  • I don’t think you can get it outside of America at the moment Smurphy, shouldn’t be long though knowing facebook… they expand faster than Starbucks at the sight of a grade 2 listed building and a crowd of protesters!

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