"Places" adds marketing value to FacebookSmart Solution
Two weeks ago, Facebook launched a new service that allows users to share their location and what they are doing instantly through mobile GPS technology. This concept is not the first of its kind; people have been using geo-location services such as foursquare and Gowalla for a while. But Facebook's 500 million users dwarf the two million on foursquare, making the "check-in" concept new to a lot of people.
Facebook's dominance over its smaller location-based counterparts is so great because they arguably "know" you better than any other social media outlet. From someone's Facebook profile, you can often determine exactly what kind of person someone is. Similarly, marketers can (and should) use information about a person's activities and interests based on the information freely shared by you, the consumer.
Facebook already provides marketers with a list of your interests and favorite things with the integration of the Like button. Retailers like Amazon have already begun to leverage this information to create purchase suggestions for you and your Facebook friends. And after you book a trip through Expedia or Priceline, you can instantly share the good deal you got with your Facebook friends, where they can "like" the deal as well.
And the recent development of the beta product Facebook Questions adds yet another forum in which marketers can tap into the collective knowledge of over half a million consumers and learn about their behavior based on questions and answers.
So, with Facebook Places, you are simply sharing one more element about you as a consumer. You now have the ability to share where and when you shop, eat and play. Marketers should use this invaluable information to direct promotions and advertisements to consumers. Ultimately, this ends up benefiting the consumer by providing them with relevant and useful information from marketers, which enhances your experience as a shopper.