I have always been a fan of Foursquare. What they brought to social media was an exploration into location based social media—testing the waters as to the privacy boundaries, or lack there of, and all issues associated with check-in updates. The adoption rate has been fantastic for this emerging network, and with their ability to strike deals up with European characters Foursquare seemed to be on a roll. In addition the standing offer to be bought out for 100 million+, the writing was on the wall.
Enter Facebook So here we are, about to see Facebook jump into the location-game. Foursquare might have wanted to take that offer after all. They aren’t necessarily out of the game, but we could have seen this coming with the roll-out of a retail storefront sticker campaign that is being tested. Nonetheless, the Internet continues to mature, and I am excited to see it happen.
What does this mean for SMB and Retailers? Contrary to the constant smattering of dissenters, Facebook is very much so poised to teach the world how to integrate social media into SMB and retail storefronts. I imagine that in a years time we no longer will be hearing people holding onto the notion that Google Adwords and SEO are the only way to promote their businesses—to be first to the party for SMB on Facebook was a position of yesterday.
So here are some tips for those not ready for this shift:
- Establish your personal connections. If you aren’t on Facebook yet—maybe you thought it was too juvenile— get on there now and get used to the interface. There is nothing worse than a business establishing itself on social media without first understanding it from a consumer perspective.
- Create your business Facebook Fan Page. Do it now, and do it fast. Make sure that you didn’t skip step 1. Why? You want to immediately be able to recruit 30 friends to ‘like’ your business on Facebook. Then go to facebook.com/username. Click on the ‘Set a username for your pages’ link, and select your page from the drop-down. This is a land-grab, much like .com addresses were; select a username that is consistent with every other online presence for your business.
- Don’t wait for Facebook to send you your own storefront sticker. Because, it probably won’t be available for quite some time. Create your ‘Like’ us on Facebook presence with that handy facebook.com/businessname that you just registered. Print out signs for your storefront, and add it to your email signatures and Websites.
- Incentivize and reward. Look back to my Foursquare for SMB post for some ideas on how to promote your business on Facebook. More to come later! Good luck!