On Black Friday, Facebook had one major giveaway that we’re definitely thankful for. The Leader of the Interweb launched a new localized marketing tool: The Facebook Local app. A re-vamp of the less successful ‘Events’ (Facebook’s attempt to compete with Google Calendars) app, Facebook Local aims to provide insight into things to do, eat, and see in users’ communities.
Users log into their Facebook Local account with the same login info used for Facebook, so they can see what’s happening nearby based on interests, and what friends are talking about/reviewing. Listings connect to Facebook business pages, and are organized into categories ranging from food and drinks to art, music, etc. There’s also an events tab for people to quickly search for specific occasions in their areas. You can search for events by name and/or category, or you can simply browse through all listings on Facebook to find what you need.
What makes Facebook Local different from other local search apps?
Local competes with like-minded apps such as Yelp and Foursquare, but features one unique component: it’s trustworthy. While the app offers suggestions for restaurants, coffee shops, bars – you name it – it also ties in Facebook friends’ reviews and recommendations on where to go/what to do. People won’t see reviews from random folks who likely don’t share the same interests, they will see what their trusted community recommends. This is a game-changer, because people are far more likely to follow the advice of people they actually know and trust.
Does your business know about Local?
The success of the app is expected to rise at an exponential rate, as there are over 65 million business pages on Facebook. If your business has a Facebook page – are you aware that you’re on Facebook Local, too? In order for this to be a successful tool for businesses, it’s important to be tuned in to where your company is being mentioned on Local.
When users select a business location, they’ll see the following:
Hours of operation
Pictures that people are posting of the company
Phone numbers for all locations
Directions through a third-party maps app
Options to visit Facebook page and/or website
Most popular key words used folks are talking about the biz on Facebook.
With Facebook’s wide range of business data available to users, Local presents an opportunity for small businesses to hone in on how well they’re connecting with people in their communities and seek more social content from their customers. Successfully engaging with your community via social sharing will expand your customer base without question.
In previous posts we’ve talked about the importance of managing your listings and local reviews, and this tool makes this process even easier. Using Facebook Local as an analytics tool is an opportunity for businesses to see what’s going on in their communities, which includes monitoring company mentions, encouraging and responding to reviews, and keeping an eye on the competition.