Facebook debuted their newest addition, Facebook Places, to the public.
The Telegraph give a concise explanation:
It enables people to provide a real-time update of where they are and what they’re doing when they’re on the move. It means people can tell their friends about a cool restaurant or a film that’s worth going to see, or even a good spot for a picnic.
Facebook believes Places will also enable its users to take advantage of unexpected coincidences – such as discovering that they are at the same concert as their friends. Users can “check in” when they arrive at a location, just as in rival service Foursquare, and see whether any of their friends are nearby.
When a Facebook user checks in to a location, an update will automatically be published to their friends’ News Feeds. They can also “tag” friends who are in the same location, either by way of a photo or a status update
In my opinion, Facebook Places, in its current form, is going to play more of a role for entertainment type businesses (think restaurants, bars, exotic locations, etc.). From a marketing standpoint, these venues could offer coupons or specials to people who have visited frequently for instance.
I don't see the appeal of checking in to let all your friends know that you just visited with a lawyer. Nor do I see a strong angle for law firms to offer coupons or discounts for "frequent visitors". That being said, it's difficult to know how the service will evolve or how widespread the check-in behavior of Facebook's users become. It's something to keep an eye on.
Despite my skepticism as far as utilizing the service for your firm's marketing at this point, there is a good chance your firm's data has already been loaded into the Facebook's Places section. Facebook struck a deal with Localeze to provide it with data on 14 million local businesses. It will still be worthwhile to claim your page since it offers you a presence on Facebook with your address, directions, phone numbers, etc. for your firm. Below is a document outlining Facebook Places for Businesses and how to claim your Places page:
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