Tuesday, August 23, 2011


In my Facebook news feeds I see that more and more of my friends Check-in in different places on Facebook. Cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, airports and conference centers. Some of the businesses I follow offer Check-in Deals. Not having used those features myself, I got really interested in what they are and how B&B's can use them.

The Internet is not only about computers any more. Mobile devices (mobile phones and tablets) have in past few years won love from thousands of people, young and old. Apple and Android fight for market shares, and it is still unclear who wins. Applications for both conquer the world though, and businesses should start considering how to use them in own advantage. It can be enough to create a web-page and a Facebook Page. But to my opinion it is simply unwise to loose other opportunities, which are even free of charge and easy to use.

Facebook Places is one of those relatively new marketing means. The first place to look for information about them is of course Facebook itself. There you can find that «Many locations have automatically been imported to the Places application. If there is no data available in your current location, you can create a new place from your phone».

Before going ahead and talk about how to create a Place, why not ask: WHY do you need to do that?

Apart from listing your contact information on your Place page, you can reach hundreds of fans and friends. How? When customers check in, they’ll automatically be telling their Facebook friends about it. They can add their comments about your place and tag their friends, who are visiting it with them. The tagged friends will have that on their own walls, and thus the chain is being created. This kind of location-based marketing is very useful also because if there are places nearby, they will be visible for your guests, as well as your place will be visible for your neighbors ‘customers.

If this minimum advantage has convinced you, you are welcome to spend a bit of your time for reading the following information and creating your own Facebook Place.

Step one: You as a B&B owner can either find your property among already existing or create it anew. Maybe some of your guests have already Checked-in at your place without you knowing? You can just claim the ownership.

1.    Search for your business name via the Facebook Search bar.
ñ If a place for your business already exists, click on it.
ñ If a place for your business does not yet exist, you’ll need to visit the business's physical location with your mobile phone and create a place for it.
2.    Once you find your business's place, click the link at the bottom left of that says "Is this your business?"
3.    You will be directed to a claiming flow. We will ask you to verify that you are the owner through a phone verification process, or you may be asked for document verification.
Step two: Update information about your Place. You can add address, phone, website, working hours and other useful information. Thus the Check-inners and their friends on Facebook will not only be able to see your Place, but also information about your business, and can navigate to your website, blog or Facebook Page.

Step three: Share it with your Facebook Fans and place the news about the availability on your Blog or Website. Thus you will let your potential guests know that they can do it while living in your B&B. And the information about you will spread through the world. You yourself can also frequently Check-in so that your personal friends could get the information and spread it further.

Step four (optional): as I mentioned above, some businesses choose to create so-called Deals for their customers who use the Check-in option. Once you’ve added your deal you’ll be able to define it a little further (first 20 people to check in get the deal, 20% off, check in 10 times to get a free coffee etc.).  Use your imagination in creating the Deals. What can interest your potential guests? How can you win them from your competitors in the area? You can set a time limit on deals and all deals need to be approved by Facebook which can take up to 48 hours.

The guide on how to create Deals is available in this PDF File from Facebook 

More about the topic at Facebook Blog

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