Location check-in game SCVNGR is launching a widget to help local businesses use their Facebook Place Pages to drive foot traffic to their stores. The SCVNGR widget allows businesses to offer rewards and challenges to real-life customers through their Facebook Place Page.
The widget goes live from 10am Eastern time today. When businesses implement it, a small SCVNGR button appears below “Friend Activity” on the left hand side of their Place Page. If you click on that it would take you through to a SCVNGR page with three tabs: Rewards, Challenges and How to Play. For example, Toscanini’s ice cream parlor in Cambridge, Massachusetts will be one of the first businesses using the widget and below is an example of what their Rewards tab might look like, once Facebook approves their ownership of the Place Page.
Seth Priebatsch, so-called chief ninja at SCVNGR, said he believes Place Pages are set to become the main online presence for many businesses. “Pages on Facebook tend to get a lot more traffic than websites for individual businesses and Place Pages tend to be targeting local business that don’t necessarily have a good website,” Priebatsch told AllFacebook.com. “Place Pages will be the iconographic representation of that business online and attract a ton of traffic so it will be really important for them to have an awesome Facebook Place Page.”
Priebatsch said it makes sense for businesses with a physical location to merge their Pages into their Place Pages and that Facebook was implementing most of the same functionality for both. Businesses without a real-world presence for customers would typically continue just to use a Page.
Priebatsch said the widget was possible because of SCVNGR’s decision to map the links in its Facebook Places updates to a company’s Place Page on Facebook rather than a page on SCVNGR’s own site. This means that SCVNGR check-ins show up on the company’s Place Page and not just in the general Facebook Places stream. Preibatsch claims that SCVNGR is the only one doing this and that, as a result, a Place Page for a business such as Toscanini’s would only display check-ins from Facebook Places and SCVNGR. The activity will start fresh once the widget goes live today but below is a mock-up of what front of the Toscanini’s Place Page would look like, based on past activity.
As well as making the widget possible, Priebatsch said this had a marketing benefit in terms of driving Facebook traffic to the business’ Place Page. He added that SCVNGR activity was not just check-ins but included photos, comments and other more dynamic challenges. This made the Place Page much more interesting and also tended to rank higher in Facebook’s news stream than ordinary check-ins. Priebatsch said this should drive more interest from consumers because they were not just seeing their friends checking into a place but that there were free ice creams on offer, for example.
For a live link to see the SCVNGR integration and widget in action, see the SCVNGR Place Page on Facebook.