- By Colleen McNamara
Last week, we reported that Facebook is primed to launch a brand new search and discovery function, as announced in TechCrunch. The release will allow users who want to find businesses within easy reach to make “near me” searches for a particular service or product. Think of it as an advanced GMB functionality directly in your favorite social platform – two worlds collide.
Some marketers are inclined to think that Facebook is simply a social networking site with a dash of news content here and there. If you fit into that category, you might be wondering: “great, but what does this actually mean for me? How will I see ROI from putting my time and resources into Facebook?”
Let’s start with the high-level stats, provided by Zephoria.
- Facebook has over 1.86 billion monthly active users
- 4.75 billion pieces of content is shared on the site per day
- 1 in 5 web page views on the Internet in the US occur on Facebook.
- Over 16 million local business pages have been created on the platform.
In short: Facebook is a global powerhouse with a ton of eyeballs any business can generate significant visibility from. And, with this potential new feature in the pipeline, if you don’t optimize for local immediately — there is a high risk your competitors will grab the attention of incoming local searchers before you even have a chance.
Here are our top three suggestions to get started:
- The first thing you need is a Page that is completely accurate. Facebook’s former parent/child setup for multi-location brands has evolved into a more sophisticated process within the Facebook Locations framework allowing for easier business location management. There are a few key things to know about this process and how it will affect all of your Pages within the Facebook for Business platform:
- Content will cascade to all Location Pages: This means you can have your brand messaging, images and tagline consistent everywhere. Hooray!
- Every individual location page will have the same name as the brand page: You can identify the location in parenthesis beside the page’s brand name.
- Pages created out of your control remain live until you take action. If you don’t take action and delete these, they will remain, and could damage your local search results.
To learn more about Facebook Locations, see our full feature right here.
2. Manage Your Page Religiously!
According to TechCrunch, the beta version of Facebook’s local search function is rich with content. On the results page, a user will see check-ins that have occurred from their Facebook friend’s, plus original photos, and, most importantly, reviews. A star rating will appear beside the business name, along with a recent review of a consumer’s experience.
We recommend ensuring your business’ Location Pages are tended to regularly, and that you launch a Facebook-specific review monitoring and review generating strategy. There are several ways to take this task on, and though it might seem like a lot of legwork right now, there’s nothing quite as powerful as page gleaming with positive reviews from a happy local community.
3. Use Data to Enhance Your Facebook Page & Know Your Audience Immediately
Making changes to any strategy without data as to why — or how — you should go about the process, often results in pedalling backwards and reassessing. We recommend harnessing data from your local listings on Facebook to gain insight into how users are interacting with your Page right now. Are they clicking on the “call now” button, or are they visiting your site? Are they reviewing often, or are comments and engagement relatively sparse?
These data points can be used to spearhead a content strategy that will optimize your Page. Maybe more alluring visuals will entice users to stay on the Page a little longer, and clearer, more pointed calls to action could enhance your conversion rate. Simple insights can go a long way to determining where you can make immediate improvements to your Pages.
In the end, remember…
Although Facebook’s new local search feature isn’t fully rolled out yet, if you can get your Pages ready for action now, you won’t fall behind once it’s launched. And — if you think that Facebook isn’t “necessary” for your business, just think about this for a second: there are 1.74 billion mobile monthly active users on Facebook. Yes, that’s billion.