Do you have a Facebook Local Business Page? No? Perhaps now is the time to seriously consider having a presence on Facebook
Facebook top 600,000 mobile users worldwide every month and it’s estimated that around 61% of the 1 billion users access via mobiles and tablets. While we’re talking stats, there’s around 33 million Facebook users in the UK – just over half of the population.
Rather large numbers, but what has this to do with local business?
Just before Christmas, Facebook updated the Near By section of the local mobile search. It now means that your local business page can more easily found in their local search.
Before the update, you would only see where friends had checked in. Now mobile Facebook users have the opportunity to discover other businesses in their area using the Near By tab.
I was hoping to get some screen shots, however I don’t have a smartphone – I’m old school, I use my mobile for calls only. I called my daughter who is at Uni in Liverpool and asked her to have a look on her smartphone. Needless to say, I am not putting locations like “my bed” and “whore house” here on the blog! Students!
However, it does show that local businesses in the area are not taking advantage of Facebook pages.
I’ve borrowed this screenshot from the Facebook announcement.
How To Take Advantage of Facebook’s Local Mobile Search Results
First of all, if you don’t have a Facebook page for your business then create one. Complete all your details – business name, address, phone, opening hours and about your business. Take full advantage of the space allowed.
If you do have a page on Facebook, ensure it is set up as a local business. It’s simple to change your page category, choose local business from the drop down menu in your page settings, basic information.
You will not have the “about” text section on your Page Timeline as a local business page and the opportunity to add links. Instead, this area will display your address and phone number.
Your page is public and indexed by Google. Use the same address and phone format as your Google+ Local (Places) listing. Why? Because Google looks at mentions of your business name, address and phone all over the web to rank your Places.
Facebook mobile users will still see locations their friends have checked first. If there are no likes, checkins or recommendations from their network then the Near By rankings will default to the wider area.
Encourage your customers to like your page, check in when they visit and write a recommendation to increase your Facebook mobile local results.
Over to you…
What do you think of this move to local search by Facebook? Do you have a Facebook Local Business page?Facebook Local Business Pages – How To Take Advantage of Local Mobile Search Results by Jan Kearney