It’s because small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive in environments where they can establish long-lasting relationships with their community. These relationships prove their passion and persuade community members to recommend the business to in-laws, friends, or a new acquaintance who visit and want to experience “the local scene.”
This culture has expanded online as we’ve shifted into the digital age with sites like Yelp, Amazon, and TripAdvisor which have placed focus on the power of a positive review. And with the explosion of mobile, apps such as Foursquare/Swarm, where you can check-in to share your favorite places with friends and leave reviews, have done exceptionally well. Because let’s be honest, who is better to give a sincere review–the company or the consumer?
According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations in 2014 and that statistic continues to increase in 2015. With growing stats like that, it obviously didn’t take long for social and mobile giant Facebook to join in on this trend to add a check-in feature of their own.
As we know, Facebook’s check-in feature (released in 2010) uses a phone’s GPS capabilities to recognize location and allows users to share their travels with their network. In January, they took this functionality one step further with Facebook Place Tips.
Place tips is an enhanced interface for check-in that allows a user to dive deeper into the location they have checked into or *bonus* is just nearby.
This is a goldmine for local businesses that have loyal patronage, since the feature will highlight other friends who have visited the location, posts they have written, and even photos they have shared while visiting. It is the ultimate personal review.
Unfortunately, businesses haven’t had a lot of input on what information is found on this interface. It has just been whatever Facebook can organically collect.
On June 8th, Facebook announced that Place Tips can now be added as another valuable tool for small businesses on Facebook. As previously mentioned, this check-in feature will include posts, photos, and reviews from Facebook Friends, but now it can also be edited by the business to include a customizable welcome note which can highlight facts, popular items, or upcoming events!
Right now, Facebook is targeting businesses with very active pages for this resourceful review since they would have the most content to populate the page. In which case, we think this is as good of time as any to focus some of your digital marketing energy on Facebook (we know a good social marketing tool that could help).
But, if you want to start using this tool sooner than the time it would take to populate your page, Facebook is also offering a free “Facebook Bluetooth® Beacon” to businesses in the US to help ensure customers will see accurate Place Tips for your business. Here’s how to request a beacon.
And if you are even more curious to how users interact with Place Tips and how it benefits your business, take a look at the video below:
If you have any other questions, ask them in the comments!
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Senior Specialist of Content Marketing for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on the Webs Blog and Twitter.
All images via Facebook