Not too long ago there was an update by Facebook for Business specific for local businesses owners and mobile users, which they referred to as Facebook Nearby.
Facebook Nearby is a mobile check-in service for smartphone users, making it possible for all mobile devices which runs on either Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android, to find local business information and locations, along with unbiased reviews and ratings directly on Facebook, where the users had to previously use a search engine for.
This is obviously to counteract with what Google+ Plus recently did to enhance their local listings when they combined it with Zagat reviews. What doing so did was it provided the sharing of maps, social endorsements, and business information with their mobile users who were out on the road, or out on the town, and needed to find local information.
It gave Google an immediate and distinct advantage when it came to local mobile search. As a result, Facebook now offers their mobile users the same type of service, but their social medium has a deeper and wider network reach.
Gowalla who was recently acquired by Facebook are the ones who are responsible for providing the new Facebook Nearby functionality.
So if you own a local business, there are a few steps that you can take if you’re wanting to optimize your Page listing and presence, so that it will appear in the Facebook Nearby results.
The Need For Making Your FB Page Appear
What Facebook will do is they’ll rank as well as display the Nearby listings as they would the newsfeed content, so your local nearby neighborhood business may not necessarily appear just because you may be located close to where the user is geographically.
So as a result, all that the users are currently able to do is search for these local businesses which are nearby to them, or search by category such as “Italian Restaurants.”
What Facebook will then do is show results which are based on your friends activities, based on their reviews or feedback, check-ins, and personal preferences as a determination of what appears first.
How To Optimize Your Facebook Page Presence Locally
So what you need to do is optimize your Facebook presence to be more local by encouraging more user check-ins, this by perhaps offering incentives for they giving reviews, or by building better engagement on your Page, especially by the local influencers who are in your category.
You should also be adding the “Like” button on your website as well as every other online presence that you may have which builds up your network of followers.
Fully Optimizing Your Facebook Page
What Facebook users will do on their mobiles is search for a specific business name or a category. However, when it comes to SEO anything, it doesn’t mean that your particular local business will even appear.
So say that your local restaurant is called Luongo’s Spaghetti House Cafe. You also have an optimized Local Business Facebook Page which is listed under the proper category, “Restaurants/Cafes.”
Your Facebook Page should then ideally appear in the search results, listing your business name and Page under the category “Restaurants/Cafes,” this based on the stated keyword factors.
However, you may not appear on a users mobile search results if they’re searching for “Pizzas” for instance. This because currently, what you would need to have is the actual word ‘Pizza” in your business name for it to appear.
This is obviously a helpful feature for users who are performing the search, especially if they’re searching for a product or service without knowing the actual business name, this feature however is expected to be added in the near future.
But for now, there are a few different ways on how you can optimize your Page for discovery by anyone who happens to be nearby, or are looking for your store specifically.
Make Sure You’re In The Right Category
Check to make sure that your business is in the proper category. If you happen to operate a night club, make sure that you’re under “Night Clubs/Bars” and not under “Restaurants/Cafes,” for instance.
If you’re wanting to be under both categories, you can try placing yourself in one category while using the name of your business in another category, such as: Category > Night Clubs/Bars, then you can list your Business Name as: “BarFly Night Club & Cafe,” then you should appear in the Restaurants/Cafes category as well.
Optimizing Your Facebook Page To Convert
What a conversion refers to is someone discovering your business on Facebook Nearby and then actually entering your store or establishment. So make it as easy as possible for them to find you by constantly updating your Page so it’s completely relevant for that day, such as listing your daily specials or sales.
Once someone using their mobile and comes across a business listing which is completely out of date, or are lacking a phone number or the hours of operation, this is a complete turnoff for them, forcing them to scroll to the next listing.
So make sure that you update the hours that you’re open, verify that your street address and phone number are correct, and then try Facebook Nearby yourself on your own mobile to make sure that the map as well as directions are correct.
Using Facebook Nearby
What Facebook Nearby has is the potential of you grabbing significant market share when it comes to local search and mobiles, this because of their huge and loyal user base and reach.
The mobile searchers will also make their buying or eating decisions based on the reviews, feedback, ratings, and endorsements made by their Facebook friends, rather than reading random user reviews on Yelp, for instance.
So if you own a local business, it’s your obligation to give your existing Facebook Page the spruce up that it needs by making it local. Make sure that you position yourself to appear and then actively campaign to further build up your presence on Facebook Nearby.