It’s time. If you haven’t already, it has reached the point where your restaurant needs to claim your Facebook Places page. Facebook Places works, so that whether you like it or not, restaurants participate since customers can create a place and “check-in” at it. Claiming your Facebook Places page is necessary to gain some control over the information about your restaurant, and it can present marketing opportunities in the future.

It is not instantaneous. It is a process which I will go over below. It involves the disclosure of documentation in order for Facebook to confirm that this is the actual owner/manager of the restaurant. But to speed the process through, let’s go over it step by step.

  1. Before claiming your restaurant’s Facebook Place page, you must see if your restaurant is already listed on Facebook Places (and hopefully there aren’t multiple listings). If not, you should add it. The way you do that is by accessing Facebook Places through the smartphone mobile application. After doing that, there appears on the bottom of the page a link that asks “Is this your business?” This begins the part where you authenticate/claim this Facebook Places page.
  2. In addition to the basic, Facebook wants your Federal EIN (Employee Identification Number) and one of a host of official document. These need to be scanned and uploaded. You may use either certificate of incorporation, certificate of formation, local business license or Better Business accreditation.
  3. Submitting the documents is not the end of the process. Facebook will send a message confirming that they are processing your request. Consequently, there is a delay before the Facebook Place becomes yours.

Additional Features

  1. If you so desire, you can, for a fee, advertise your Facebook place on Facebook.
  2. You can offer promotions and specials for those that check-in at your Facebook place.
  3. Currently, there isn’t much targeted marketing. Your restaurant can market to people who are currently checked-in at your establishment or those who “like” it. But you cannot market to everybody who ever has checked-in.
  4. You should also consider merging your Facebook Places page with your Facebook Fan site. It will cut down on confusion and simplify posting specials and promotions.

The upside of becoming involved in Facebook Places is great, even if it hasn’t been fully realized yet. But this is the future, and though the process may be a hassle, it’s a good idea in the long run.