How The New Facebook “Places” Feature Can Be Used As A Marketing Tool

Ok, you get it—Facebook is the way to go for social marketing.  While you’ve been advised to create a fan page to lure in customers and promote your business, truth of the matter is you just don’t have the time to keep it up. But do not fret. Thanks to a relatively new Facebook feature you can optimize your social marketing without having to update a single status.How The Facebook Places Feature Can Improve Your Marketing

The “places” feature, which was activated late August, is designed to let customers share their real-time location with their Facebook friends.  Similar to the ever popular Foursquare and Yelp, when Facebook users access the application via their smart phone, they will be able “check-in” in at certain locations and businesses. This is how it can benefit your business:  If a Facebook user wants their “friends” to know that he or she is dining at the new glamorous restaurant you just opened up last week for example, he or she will first access the” places” feature using the Facebook’s smart phone site or  iPhone application. Once this is done, the customer will see a list of businesses that are close in proximity. He or she can either simply choose the location that matches or add it manually. Once the customer “checks -in,” their location (and comment about the location if they choose to leave one) will immediately be posted not only on their profile page, but their friend’s news-feeds as well.  So in a way, by “checking-in” the customer is doing all the work and indirectly doubling your advertisement because the customer is helping you expand your audience reach. This is because with a fan page, you can only advertise to “fans” –meaning the people who “like” your page. However, because customers’ locations are automatically displayed on their friend’s news-feeds, you are essentially getting to promote your business to people who are not fans of your page.

In addition, customers are able to “tag” their friends and check them in as well—which can essentially triple or quadruple your advertising potential.  This is because when a customer tags friends, the location not only is displayed on his or her friends’ news-feeds, but now it will also be displayed on the tagged person’s friends’ news-feeds as well. Sound confusing? For better clarification, if customer A has 300 friends and tags customer B who has 300 friends, your businesses’ name (including the address and how good it is) will be seen potentially by 600 people.


This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez, who writes on the topics of accredited online schools.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez

Image by sam_churchill


  • Aaron Beashel

    Nice article Jeff.

    I understand your focus was on how simple and effortless facebook places marketing can be, but i think a lot also needs to be said about the social proof element of a check in.

    When you see someone that you respect has checked in to somewhere (even if you dont read or they didnt write a review) it effectively counts as a vote by person A for business X.

    I was recently working with a local Gym and we implemented check-ins into their wider marketing campaign by providing a reward for members each time they checkin. This was a high performance gym whose membership included a number of local sports people and having them checking-in each time generated both eyeballs and credibility for the gym amongst the local community (who was the exact market we were trying to reach). All at little to no cost.

    I think if you have the right type of business and your not using checkins then your missing an opportunity…

  • Tamara

    This is a great feature but how could this be leveraged for a B2B company?

  • Tamara

    This is a great feature but how could this be leveraged for a B2B company?

    • TinaJohnson6691

      similar concepts can be applied to trade/product road show, seminar, conferences, coperate training/team building and etc events.

  • Tamara

    This is a great feature but how could this be leveraged for a B2B company?

  • Patrick Cummings

    check in, get a discount. I could even see discounts based on reach. will a social score be important in the near future?