March 30, 2017

Leveraging ‘Local Search’ Through Facebook

Benefits of Mobile App Development for Business
May 11, 2017

Are you a ‘local’ business? By that we mean, do you need to get the local population through the door or calling you to buy your products or services? If you are, you need to read on as Facebook have a local search function that is little known about and will potentially help drive more sales for your business.

Some stats will indicate that up to 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, therefore, there is little wonder that Facebook is getting in on the local search market, but more importantly, every one of these consumers could be a potential customer for you – can you afford to miss out on being chosen?

The search function at the top of the Facebook page, whether mobile or desktop, is now searchable with phrases such as “Lunch nearby” or “hairdressers nearby”. This search will then return a list of relevant businesses, along with a map of their location, their review ratings and which of your friends have visited or liked the places shown.

If we look at the visibility of the local search function, it is immediately obvious that it is designed to appeal to mobile users the most, which makes perfect sense. This is demonstrated by the search results nearly always come up the top when searching on a mobile – however, on the desktop version you might have to scroll past a couple of posts from friends before you reach the results.

Mobile examples:

      

Desktop Example:

As you can see from the examples, the businesses featured in the search are indicated on the map via a pin, just below the term Facebook has used to return your results.

You will also notice that as you type the search term, it will give you ‘search suggestions’ through an auto-complete function.

The one thing we can’t shed any light on at present is how the search results are determined? I am sure this will become clear over time, but it does not seem to be associated with the number of reviews, review rating or the proximity to your current location.. However, it does seem to ‘perhaps’ have some correlation to the number of likes / followers, combined with activity on your page – but one thing we can be sure of, is that the algorithm will be a closely guarded secret!

As well as the initial results, you will see that you have the option to ‘dig deeper’ and open up the results to ‘See All’, this will then open up more information such as; a photo, review rating, no. of ratings, distance to business, opening hours and how many / which of your friends have visited the business.

On the desktop version you will also see that Facebook is delving into what has been said about the businesses, this is so you can get an idea of what others are ‘talking’ about in relation to the business, rather than just highlighting the reviews themselves – giving you a really good ‘feel’ for the place!

As you can see from the above example, you will also need to ensure your business is on the correct page template and that you have your ‘Call to Action’ set up, this could mean the difference between, getting the call or not!

So, if it wasn’t critical enough for local businesses to have a presence on and to manage their social media well, the local search function demonstrates that as a local business you must consider social media as one area of your marketing that needs to take priority.

We know that time to carry out important updates, posting & managing your social media is incredibly tough to find, alongside running your business – this is where social media management will benefit you!

So please pick up the phone today and start the discussion with your marketing agency about what services they can offer to support you with your social media. If you don’t already have a marketing agency, we at Kioo would be more than happy to have a chat to see how we can help.