Facebook Places is the talk of the social media scene, opening new doors for facetime and marketing opportunities.

The new Places application for Facebook is similar to Foursquares or Google Places, allowing users to check-in at their current location and notifies friends who may be nearby of your close proximity to one another.

I first heard about this new application at one of my favorite restaurants here in Omaha when the owner saw that someone checked-in at his restaurant. He put the server on a mission to find this guest to buy him a beer as a thank you for marketing his business and its location on Facebook. Places acted as a free marketing tool for the restaurant – well, it only cost the owner the price of a beer.

Unfortunately, there is no way to link a fan page up with a Places page, but there is speculation that Places may eventually replace a fan page. While Places pages are fairly plain-Jane at the moment, with only a wall and a Bing map,

I would expect them to gradually become more interactive and informational. Also, any user can create a Places page, so it’s important for businesses to create their own as soon as possible to avoid a misspelling or incorrect address.

So, download the application on your mobile device, create or claim a page as your place of business – through filling out the form and providing legal documentation – and use it as a marketing tool by encouraging your customers to check-in at your location and share their experience.

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