Perhaps you’ve heard? Facebook recently released a new Check-In feature called Places. Mostly, from what I read, people who comment on these sorts of things, they think it’s lame and useless. I don’t know how it will all work out. Actually nobody knows. But generally speaking, my money’s on Facebook. I see that when I click on my Facebook Places iPhone icon, plenty of people are checking in.
Rather than fight Facebook, you might want to make Facebook your friend, just in case, you know, it really takes off.
But before I share how to customize your own Facebook Places page, let me add my voice to the shouts about Places security settings. The Facebook default for Places allows your friends to Check You In. The first thing you might want to do is change your Facebook Places security setting. If you don’t disable the feature, your friends can check you into places you’re really not at. For example, you might be sitting at home watching New Jersey Housewives, and your loose cannon friend is checking you into a strip club, or worse, a Justin Beiber concert.
Here’s how to diable that feature. I’d go do that right now, then come back.
Back to customizing your Facebook Places Page – for your business
So the idea here is, instead of checking in at the Facebook default for your real estate office, you can create your own entry. You can included your name, phone numbers, and a little promo/bio. The whole process takes only a couple of minutes.
Here’s how you start:
Launch your iPhone Facebook App and click on Places. Sorry, if you don’t have an iPhone, you’ll have to find other productive stuff instead.
Next , click on the Check In button.
Next, Facebook uses geolocation to serve up Places it knows you are near. It’s not important what shows up here, because we’re going to create our own Places Page location. Cool. What you want to do is touch the + button.
At the next screen, type in your information. But before you start typing, think about what information you want to include. Once you’ve entered your information and touched the “Done” button (lower right corner) there is no edit. Finish, and touch “Done”.
Boom goes the dynamite. Here’s what my customized Check-In looks like on the iPhone. You can see I added my name, the company, a litte info, and a thank you. That’s better than checking into a generic site, right?
Here’s what it looks like on a Facebook Page Profile Page. So the idea here is, if you’re checking-in at your office, why not have personal branding 411, like your name, contact information, etc., instead of generic company stuff?
Wait there’s more. You can claim “your” Place.
You can read about here on Facebook or just follow along below:
“How Do I Claim My Place?
To claim your Place, search for your business name on Facebook via the normal Search bar. If your business’ Place already exists on Facebook, click on it to visit its page. At the bottom left side of your Place there will be a link that says “Is this your business?” Click on the link and you will be directed to a claiming flow.
Facebook will ask you to verify that you are the owner through a phone verification process, or you may be asked for document verification. Once your claim is confirmed, you will own your Place on Facebook.
Type the name of your customized place into the search bar. As you can see, I typed Ken Band into the Search box. Facebook found, and displayed my Place.
When you’ve found your Place, click on the link, and the page below will appear.
1. Click on the “Is this your business?” link, and the 2. box will appear.
Check the box, and click on the Proceed with Verification button.
After you click the Proceed with Verification button, the box below will appear. Type in your info. Remember, once you hit Submit, there is not edit function. I didn’t include my SSN, but I did upload a photo of my R.E. Lisc. Hit the Submit button.
That’s it, you’re finished.
At some point, Facebook elves will verify our verifications. Hopefully they’ll approve it, and we’ll rock on. In the mean time, when we check into the office, instead of generic company information, we’ll have our own customized Place Page. I imagine that eventually, when Facebook adds Yelp style ratings and Foursquare tips, etc., having our own Places Pages will pay off. I hear all the criticism about Places, and who knows if will fly or not? But if it does, we’ll already be there. Cheers.
PS: Bonus… if you’re wondering how to screen capture your iPhone screen – here’s the trick.
Thanks for reading.