It’s Facebook Friday — each week we’ll offer one tip for leveraging Facebook to increase customer awareness of and engagement with your brand or business. This week we’ll take a closer look at the new Facebook Camera app for iPhone.

Here’s the background: Earlier this week, Facebook launched its new Facebook Camera app, enabling everyone with a Facebook profile and an iPhone to take pictures, apply filters, and publish them to their Timelines directly.

A lot has been said about what this has to do with Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram and what the Facebook Instagram acquisition means for brands, but putting industry navel gazing aside leaves us with a more prescient question: Does this new app launch generate any potential or problems for businesses and brands on Facebook?

Not Compatible With Pages

The most important issue on that note is the camera’s lack of support for Pages. You can snap pictures, apply filters, and upload them directly to a personal profile’s Facebook Timeline, but you can’t do that with a brand Page’s Timeline.

The app is very convenient, but you won’t be able to take advantage of that when taking photos and sharing them with Facebook Page fans, so don’t even think it. But there are plenty of other easy ways to share photos on Facebook besides this app already, so the more pressing question is: Is there same way people using it on their profiles can help spread the word about your business?

Incentivizing Customers to Pimp You Out

It turns out there is — if you’re a local business on chain with entries on the Facebook Places check-in service. While Facebook Camera won’t let people tag Pages directly, it does allow them to use their phones’ location services (GPS) check in to Facebook Places.

So let’s consider one possible use case. Let’s say your business is a bakery, and you’re really proud of your pastries. If a customer comes in, orders a pastry, and loves it so much that he or she takes a photo of it with Facebook Camera and tags your listing on Facebook Places, that’s even better exposure to his or her friends than a regular check-in. A text update saying the customer visited you is one thing; it’s another to tempt his or her friends with deliciously enticing photos.

Since non-local brand Pages cannot be tagged, this is the only way you can currently leverage Facebook Camera for your business. If you are a local business (or chain) that can draw customers in with a visual cue, offer incentives at the counter to visiting customers to take pictures with the Facebook Camera app.

Have them show the picture they’re uploading and the check-in that accompanies it at the cash register for a discount or some loyalty benefit.

Was this tip helpful? Do you have any more ideas for getting the most out of Facebook? Let us know in the comments!

[Image credit: bfishadow]