The next steps in the process of claiming your Place appear to vary depending on if Facebook has a phone number for your business already on file. If so, you’ll either be prompted to enter an access pin which is delivered via old-fashioned phone call. If Facebook doesn’t know your phone number, you’ll be asked to submit paperwork proving the existence of your business – which I expect they will simplify at some point.
Step 3. Spread the Word
Post a link on your fan page, email your friends, encourage customers to check-in (some ideas for doing so can be found here), and ask your current Facebook fans to ‘Like’ your places page, which helps with the viral nature of being involved with Facebook and their massive audience.
Merging Your Fan Page with your Places Page
The details aren’t clear on who can and can’t merge their existing pages, all we’re told is that if it’s an option, you’ll be prompted to do so. It’s a good idea for a single-location local business as it will bring over all of your user history and create one place to focus your efforts. For multi-location businesses (or those not prompted to merge the two), Facebook currently suggest managing Fan Pages and your Facebook Place separately.
Below is an example of a Facebook Place that has been merged with a Facebook Fan Page – you’ll notice the additional elements such as a wall and reviews (which we haven’t confirmed actually exist yet).
Any other questions? Just ask and we’ll see if we can hunt down the answers for you. We’ll keep you posted as new developments and features are added to Facebook Places in the future.