Better Cause Marketing with Facebook Places

If you're a cause marketer or fundraiser that's been waiting to check-in to location-based services, now may be the time as the biggest and most popular social networking site, Facebook, has just rolled out Places. All you need to get started with Places is a Facebook account, which like 500,000 million people out there you probably already have, and an iPhone.

I like Aaron Strout's point that Place was made for the masses, not the early-adopter geeks who jumped on to Foursquare, Gowally and Whrrl. So it's very easy to use.

However, there are some things you should know.

Watch this video from Facebook. "Why Check-in"

Safety-first. Do you want the whole world to know where you are? It's a good question because on Facebook there is no opt-in to Places. All your "friends" will know where you are, unless you tell Facebook otherwise.

Check out Beth Kanter's post on privacy concerns and, if you're in the Witness Protection Program, how to disable Places.

For a squeamish tale on the downside of Places read How to Almost Sabotage a Dinner Party with Facebook Places.

Places will be a good thing. For both businesses and nonprofits. Check out this post from Duct Tape Marketing on why Places is kind of big deal.

Claim your nonprofit. Whenever someone check-ins to a location or adds a new one to Facebook places, it creates a page for that business or nonprofit that can then be claimed. Not just anyone can claim a page. You have to submit the right paperwork to Facebook for approval. Here are some details.

Follow the guru. I've written a lot on location-based services, but the person to follow and learn from on Facebook Places is John Haydon. He's the expert on how nonprofits can best leverage Facebook for fun and profit. His site is sure to have the latest and greatest info on Places.

What questions do you have about Facebook Places? How do you plan to use it for fundraising?