Facebook debuted their newest addition, Facebook Places, to the public.
What is Facebook Places?
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
Should This Play A Role In Your Law Firm’s Marketing?
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.
Claiming Your Facebook Places Page
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: