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We all know Facebook can be about as distracting as a beardless Rand Fishkin (or Moira Johnson on a crisp spring day—you decide). Hell, blogger Maneesh Sethi once hired a girl on Craigslist to slap him in the face every time he went on Facebook (and it quadrupled his productivity!). But realistically, Facebook can be quite the effective online marketing tool. And with Facebook’s “Local Search” function, the social network could prove even more effective for marketing your local business online.
What Is Facebook Local Search?
Back in December, Facebook started to rollout a feature called Facebook Nearby, which originally served as a feed of places its users’ friends had recently checked in to. Similar to Yelp, the Nearby tool eventually progressed to allow users to search or browse businesses in close proximity—prioritizing the listings by social cues, such as where the user’s friends had “liked” or “checked in” to those businesses.
Although this feature still displays as “Nearby” in the mobile app, as of today Facebook has renamed the tool Facebook Local Search—potentially making the tool’s function more clear to Facebook users and increasing user engagement.
Why Facebook Local Search Matters to Local Business Owners
Search Engine Land reports that the Facebook mobile app is currently the second most widely used mobile app for local search, right behind Google Maps. With the increasing number of searches coming from mobile devices and Facebook’s new stakehold in the local search arena, local business owners with a strong social presence could potentially start generating significantly more leads from Facebook.
Local search optimization in general has already taken a front seat in the online marketing world. For almost any type of local company—bathroom/kitchen showroom, flooring, HVAC, plumbing, etc.—being prominently found for local search queries (in the traditional organic listings as well as in the “7-pack” / map section of Google) can be the difference between a booming business and banging your head on the desk waiting for the phone to ring.
In short, if you’re not (at the very least) managing your local listings and working to build a strong social presence, you could very quickly be losing out on Web-based leads–especially if the local search arena shifts from being Google-centric to being Facebook-centric.
Creating a Local Search Strategy for Your Business
If you need help optimizing your Facebook page for Facebook Local Search, contact Blue Corona today. We’ll help you create a local search strategy for your business–helping you increase the number of leads you generate from the Web.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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