Facebook Places is essentially free word-of-mouth advertising for your business. When customers check in, they’ll automatically be telling their Facebook friends about it. If you run a small business with a street entrance, there’s a good chance that it’s already a part of Facebook Places — with or without your input.

By claiming your Page, you have the opportunity to customize that free advertising. It also makes it easy to purchase pay-per-click advertising for your Places page. Here’s how to get started:

1.  Add Your Business to Facebook Places

Open the Facebook app on your mobile phone. Depending on which device you have, you’ll either hit “Places” or “Check In” on the home screen of the app. Type the name of your business in the search bar. If there’s no listing for your business, there will be an option in the search results menu to add it. You can do so by adding a description and selecting “add.”

If your business has already been added to Facebook Places, you can skip this step.

2.  Search for Your Business on Facebook

Open Facebook on your desktop and search for your business. Click on the Places result.

3.  Claim Your Place

Beneath the image on the Places page there is a hyperlink that says, “Is this your business?” If it is, you can click it to start the verification process.

4.  Verify Your Listing

Before Facebook will let you edit the page, they ask for either a business email address or a document that has your name and business’ name on it. After you supply either, it can take as long as a week for Facebook to confirm your request.

[By Sarah Kessler Via]

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