10 Things About Facebook Places

Today, 10 things you need to know about Facebook Places.  What it means for the travel industry, what you should do today and the future of geosocial networking.

Well, in our opinion anyway.

10 Things You Need To Know About Facebook Places

1. Facebook Places will help geosocial networking go mainstream.

For those of you who read the Travel 2.0 Blog daily, you already know all about geosocial networking (Word of the Week – Geosocial Networking).  But Joe Consumer does not.  Nor does he care to learn what the phrase ‘geosocial’ means.  Like Oprah on Twitter, Facebook brings geosocial networking into the mainstream for about 500 million people.  And for those consumers, ‘check-in’ is the definition of geosocial.

2. Facebook should now be at the center of your marketing strategy.

Trust me, no one has been a bigger hold out on the value of Facebook…although we are still not convinced your fan page is the best use of the service…but the time has come to include Facebook in your advertising plan discussions.  And not just as a sidebar or afterthought.  Nope.  The agenda should read: Goals, Strategy, Facebook, TV, Print, etc, etc.

3. How to claim your Place page.

Do it now. Claim your Facebook Place page. (.PDF)

4. How to turn off Facebook Places.

For those of you who are still resisting the inevitable.  And I, for one, welcome our new Facebook overlords.  How to turn off Facebook Places.

5. Travelers can now associate content with your physical location.

An entire wave of information, data and content is about to be attached to your location on Facebook.  Sure, that content had existed previously, but now it is easier to find.  The sheer scale of information that could be shared via the service is immense, which will give an established service like TripAdvisor either a huge partner or strong competitor in the travel review space.  For more travel impact, we recommend ‘Two sides to the Facebook Places story for travel‘ from Tnooz.

6. Facebook Places is now a critical piece of your customer service strategy.

For the travel industry, add Facebook Places to your ‘must monitor’ list.  If you have limited resources to actively communicate online, TripAdvisor and Facebook Places should now be your top priority.

7. Facebook Places helps complete the social reporting puzzle.

Let’s connect the dots and envision a possible future for social ROI…and an answer to our riddle of the tripecho effect.

  • Bill posts a status update that he is in Washington D.C. at the Hyatt and had a great time.
  • The Hyatt is using a (to be developed) tracking system that records the message, keywords, the user and their social graph.
  • Jill sees the message and begins to plan a trip to D.C. in two months.
  • Jill books a room at the Hyatt.
  • Jill checks into the Hyatt and updates her Facebook Places status.
  • The Hyatt receives a report that one of their guests, Jill, was part of Bill’s social graph.  And Bill sent a message two months ago about the Hyatt.
  • The Hyatt can now associate Jill’s stay with Bill’s status update.

8. Facebook Places is another step towards sharing your entire social graph.

Looking into our crystal ball once more, Facebook Places is a first step in establishing a much larger and much more open social graph.  Mashable defined the trend as ‘passive’ status updates, sharing your location automatically with your network.  And, not only your location, but thousands of data points that produce a clear picture of your social and consumer preferences.  Hi big brother, great to see you again.

9. Privacy concerns will be a story for the media, but not a (real) concern for most users.

What about privacy?  Or security?  People will know you are not at home and rob your house!  Sorry, but this is a media story to fill up some of the wasted hours of news programming.  Sure, the nerds among us realize the privacy implications, but the general public…Joe Consumer…does not understand or really care.

And you know what?  20 years ago, if I had your business card and a fake mustache, I could have robbed your house.  I call you at the office, pretend to want to sell you toner, confirm you are away from your house and head on over to the homestead.

So stop it with the whole, ‘bad guys will know your not at home’ argument!

10. Facebook Places builds our dependence on Facebook.

You know what, it does.  Facebook, along with Google, is now the central hub in our digital life.  What will happen next?  Will Facebook ever fail?  We just don’t know.  But, I can tell you this, never before have so many people been connected via a social service.  We have never seen a social connection point this large, so predicting the future of Facebook is, at best, a educated guess.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.