Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Business Place generates more activity than a Business Page on Facebook

As the internet crawls into the far corners of Guyana, it is time to get on board and embrace the power of social media. Letting people know about your business was, traditionally, done with newspaper and radio advertising. While these media platforms are not extinct, yet. They are increasingly expensive and often times extremely difficult to track. Why not try joining the rest of the world and use social media as a interactive tool to drive your business goals.

There are several social media platforms that go as quickly as they come. On any given day the balloon can burst and a new craze will take center stage. However, with all the hype and dazzle of newer shinier toys, Facebook seems to finally be digging in. As in any marketing plan, there are several medias to convey the message. Many more sophisticated and complex social media marketing strategies will integrate Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, Urbanspoon, Travelocity, Tripadvisor, Pinterest, Foodspotting, Stumbleupon, Instagram, to name the most popular. However, the simpler more concentrated Facebook platform offers similar engagement and results.

The basic idea of any marketing plan is to tell your customer what you are offering, then engage and keep them coming back for more. This ultimately results in a sale or income generation. Facebook “Page” offers information across the board. Almost any kind of businesses can utilize a “Page” to their utmost advantage. Information pertaining to the location, phone number, services, goods, activity or any thing else can be added to a “Page”. With “Liking” your page, customers can follow the information you are sharing. Your customer can invite their friends to “Like” your page, hence increasing your customer base. Biggest disadvantage, “Page” does not allow a user to “Check in”.

With the increasing availability of mobile phones in Guyana, “Checking in” to Facebook so your friends know where you are and what your are doing is becoming the norm. As a business owner this screams a huge opportunity for you. How do you capture that “Check In” and make it work to spread your message? There is a “Place” for that. Facebook “Places” is everything your “Page” is with the added bonus of utilizing “Geo Location” mapping to interact with customers.

How does this work? When a person “Check in to Facebook” their friends are able to see their activity. Which means, if a person “Check in” to your establishment all of their friends are immediately aware of your establishment, hence the term “Place”. Your business just appeared in front of people who probably never knew you existed by using your customers as your marketers. Typical example, when someone checks into Venu Shopping Center in Skeldon, all of their friends around the world know that this place exist, without the owners lifting a finger.

So how does a business owner create a “Place”? Simple, search Facebook Help for

How do I create a new location?
Or follow the steps below:
You can only create a new location if one doesn't already exist with a similar name. On a mobile device with location services enabled:
  1. Tap 
  2. Select  Nearby
  3. Tap Check In (top-right corner)
  4. Start typing the name of the location you'd like to add
  5. If there are no existing locations with similar names, tap Add "[New Location]"..."
  6. Confirm the name of the the location you want to create and tap Add
You can then continue to post from that location:
  1. Write a caption, tag friends or add a photo
  2. Tap Post
The default location for any new place you create will be where you are currently located. Also, keep in mind that any location you create is public. This means that other people may see the location while browsing Facebook.

1. Notice I mentioned “Place” and Facebook Help used the word “Location”? They are the same thing. A “location” is the physical address using Global Positioning Satellite to pin point the exact location. A “place” is the place on Facebook where the location is attached.

2. This process can only be done through a mobile phone with location services enabled. It cannot be done from a laptop or desktop computer.

3. Adding a location does not make you the user in any which way or form attached to the business. Businesses must claim their location as the owner in a separate step.

Which brings me to what happens after the location is added. As a business owner you have to now prove to Facebook that you are indeed the owner of this business. This stops other people to claim your address as their business. Here is how to:

How do I claim a Page that already exists for my business? Can I merge it with my business's official Page?

A Facebook Page may exist for your business even if you or someone else from your business didn't create it. This happens for a variety of reasons. For example, when someone checks into a place that doesn't already have a Page, a new Page gets created to represent the location.
If you're an official representative of an existing Page that someone else is managing, report it. If no one is managing the Page yet, you can request to claim it:
  1. From the Page, click the menu.
  2. Select Is this your business?.
  3. Follow the steps that appear on your screen. Add and verify information about your business, like its address and website, and click Continue.
  4. Next, Facebook will ask you to claim your Page to prevent other people from becoming an admin without your permission. Choose to verify your connection to the business by Email or by uploading Documentation:
    • Email: Choose this option if you have an email address associated with your Facebook account that was officially issued to you by your business. Email addresses from generic providers like Yahoo! or Gmail will not be accepted. The email address should correspond to your business's name, ex:
    • Documentation: Upload a scan or photo of an official document that shows your business's name and address. Ex: phone bill, business license, business tax file, articles of incorporation, etc.
  5. Click Submit.
You're now an admin of the Page and can begin managing it. Please allow up to one week for the Pages team to review your claim request and respond. If your request is accepted, other people won't be able to become an admin of your Page without your permission.

Once you've claimed your Page, you can merge it with duplicate Pages that you may already have set up for your business. The Pages must represent the same thing and have similar names to be eligible for merging. Additionally, if the Pages have physical locations, make sure the addresses are the same.

Is any of this making any sense? Don’t fret follow these steps and you’ll see how easy it actually is. Social media is user friendly and all the information is online. Don’t be afraid to tackle this. Now sit back and watch the world come to you. Well not so fast, you do have to work at making your “Places” engaging and interactive.

Feel free to leave comments or ask me questions. I am by no means an expert, but I have done a few of these. If I can do this so can you. Run off and conquer the world.