New features to Facebook’s Local Pages
Facebook recently rolled out a number of new features to their mobile platform, with several of them focusing specifically on promoting local news, events and businesses. Several of the updates pertain specifically to Facebook’s mobile Pages app, and are intended to help customers connect and interact with local businesses. Here is a quick rundown of what local business owners need to know about the recent updates:
Redesigned Navigation – the streamlined and improved mobile app helps customers find local businesses more easily and connect with them directly to view menus, place orders, make reservations, etc. Mobile users now see a dedicated Local section in the newly redesigned navigation bar. Previously, users accessed this in a separate Facebook Local app. Now it is rolled right into the regular Facebook app.
Stories – Facebook Stories has been available to individuals for a while now. They are quick user-generated videos we create and share through our personal profiles, but that disappear in 24-hour - just like Snapchat and Instagram’s Stories. Facebook is now making their Stories feature available on business Pages. You can use Stories to give viewers a glimpse of your company culture, push special daily offers or share timely events.
Improved "Local" Features – Through the new Local tab mentioned above, users get a quick look at nearby businesses, see reviews prominently, and can link directly to the business' Page to view menus, read reviews, browse photos, etc.
Jobs - There is also an improved interactive job application tool that lets local businesses post jobs, take applications and even chat with candidates.
According to BrightLocal’s recent Local Consumer Review Summary, “97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day.”
Facebook’s Local updates will make it even easier for local companies to connect and do business with their customers, but only if the company has an active presence on Facebook. It’s important to keep in mind that Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t pick favorites - it shows all active relevant local business’ Pages. So, if your competitors are active on Facebook Pages but your business isn’t, you are almost certainly losing out.
If you need help getting your business up and running online, or need help creating and managing a successful social media marketing strategy, contact our office to book an appointment with a business advisor. The Small Business Development Center provides free, confidential advising to help your company grow and thrive. Call the SBDC at 716-338-1024 today!