Over the past year, Facebook has been developing its standalone ‘Local’ app for mobile, and making it available globally so that it is becoming a serious competitor to Google’s local search options. For any small local business that wants to attract more customers from their catchment or local area, this is another tool to consider as part of a marketing strategy.
Every local business should be developing a Facebook business page and creating content to attract followers and likes from their customer base. Ensuring that basic content like location, opening hours and contact information is a given, but also interacting with users and building up a loyal follower base would also be beneficial. This can include generating reviews and other feedback to establish a positive star rating, both on the standard Facebook mobile pages, but also in the Local app.
Recent changes by Facebook have improved some of the ways that local businesses can make the most of their business information information pages, such as:
- Recommendations: these are a strong sales tool, with trusted advice from friends and family. People can now post a recommendation for a business including text, photos and tags directly onto a business page
- Actions: people can now tap on a simplified and prominently featured suite of action buttons to do things like book an appointment for a haircut, order a pizza, send a message or write a recommendation, all on mobile
- Page Stories: these offer an immersive way to connect with customers and communicate new offerings. Users can now view your business story by tapping on the page profile photo
- Customized business information: it’s now possible to feature information such as hours, price range, recommendations or a restaurant menu more prominently on a business page. Restaurants and service businesses will also have new content such as recent events and offers highlighted
- Events: local businesses can use events to bring their customers and communities together so it’s now easier for businesses to sell tickets for events directly on Facebook with new ticketing integrations, or promote their events through Event Ads.
- Jobs: if you want to hire new people, the jobs options have been expanded with more options and information made available.
If your business is dependent on a local market and wants to attract mobile users searching for your type of service, make sure you have set up as much information as possible on a Facebook business page so that you feature on the main site and also the Facebook Local app.
It’s also important to maintain your listing to appear active and engaged with your local market, and to make use of the various tools provided by Facebook to get more people to visit your location – and to come back!