Now that Facebook Places has been around for a little while, I wanted to take a look at how brands are using it to their advantage and what clever things are being done to entertain users. From a brand point of view, Places functions the same way as in Pages, whereby you have the option to use it for free on a smaller basis, or invest in bigger campaigns that integrate with apps. A look at the examples below show that the potential to use Facebook Places for marketing purposes is huge and combined with the launch of Facebook Deals shows that consumers are receptive to this as well.
1. Eristoff’s Snowbombing app
Showing the potential to use Facebook Places for event-based marketing, Eristoff have launched an iPhone app to support their partnership with the Snow Bombing festival in Mayrhofen. The app allows you to check in via Facebook Places and see where your friends are hanging out. Locate them and you can also win prizes. This is also alongside all the content you’d expect such as news and latest events. This is a nice app that serves a useful purpose in actually being able to meet up with your friends at the festival and shows that Facebook Places can be about location for a reason as opposed to just offering a discount on check-in.
2. Onitsuka Tiger Promotion
F**k it, we'll do it live!
Another event-based Facebook Places campaign, this time from Australia. To make the most of their sponsorship of the Sydney Bike Festival, Ontisuka Tiger decided that sponsoring the event wasn’t enough, they had to physically own the location. So they developed a competition that encouraged you to check into 3 places at the festival. Only what they had done before was to go to different venues and rename these as ‘Onitsuka Tiger Check In Points’. What I like about this campaign is that it shows it’s not always about having the big budgets, but really knowing the platform you’re on and how it can be used to your advantage. Renaming actual locations brought an extra level of brand engagement for Ontisuka Tiger and I think it’s pretty nicely done.
3. Jung von Matt/Neckar, Claim your competitors
It’s not only the exciting consumer brands that get to play about with Facebook Places, as proven by the German digital agency Jung von Matt / Neckar. In fact, they really showed how to be innovative and used Facebook Places before it had even launched in Germany. To get one up on their competitors and attract top talent to the agency, they grabbed up the locations of rival agencies (by using a U.S. IP address) and customised the business descriptions to show a series of messages to tell people they were hiring. A very nice campaign by the agency, that hopefully got them some new hires in the process.
4. Nike Sneak & Destroy
A nice bit of guerilla marketing from Nike here, this is a good example of a Facebook Places that is focused on reaching those few people in the know instead of a mass-market campaign. The Sneak & Destroy campaign involved a normal looking food truck parked on the street. But if you checked in through Facebook Places, you got access to the secret password which led to an unusual looking burrito and a pretty nice surprise:
5. Check in for Charity
Southwest Airlines showed how Facebook Places could be put to good use when they launched their holiday charity campaign in November – January. They offered a donation to the Make a Wish donation of $1 per checkin at their airport, capped at $300,000. The campaign was a nice way to introduce customers to Facebook Places and tapped into the charitable feeling at that time of the year. This campaign may not have reinvented the wheel, but I think it’s a great example of focusing on a very real aim of donating money while building loyalty to your brand. It’s also considerate of the fact that there’s only so much of someone’s time you can really ask for when they’re at the airport!
They’re just some of our favourites, any nice uses of Facebook Places you’ve spotted?