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Facebook last week launched its location-based service -- Facebook Places (www.facebook.com/places) --which enables its members to share where they are in real-time from their mobile device. It’s similar to the popular Foursquare platform, though one key difference is that Facebook already has more than half a billion members.
Like Foursquare, Facebook places is a tool that allows users to share where they are, find friends in the vicinity, and check out happenings and services within their current location, which means that Places also has the potential to serve as a location-specific marketing vehicle for businesses such as restaurants, bars, and grocery stores.
Facebook Places also provides a presence for your business’s physical store locations, encouraging your customers to share that they’ve visited your business by “checking in” to your Place. When your customer checks into your “Place,” these check-in stories are shared via users’ news feeds, which are visible by all of their friends.
Business owners with pages on Facebook can officially “claim” their venues by taking the following verification steps:
• Search for the Place on Facebook you wish to claim as your business. If no Place exists for your business, you can create a new Place.
• Once you locate the Place for your business, click the "Is this your business?" link at the bottom of the Place.
• Complete the step-by-step verification process to claim your Place.
Once you claim your Place, you’ll be able to advertise it just as you advertise your Facebook page by clicking, "I want to advertise something I have on Facebook" in the ad creation flow and choose your Place from the drop-down menu.
For more information on how to leverage Facebook Places for your business, you can download Facebook’s guide to advertising Places by visiting: http://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/FacebookAds/Places_advertisers.pdf