Most companies have a Facebook page for their business/corporate office, but there are tremendous benefits to having a local page for each of their locations.
Citations are “mentions” of your business name on webpages other than your own, even if there is no link to your website. An example of a citation might be an online yellow pages directory where your business is listed, but not linked to. Citations play a major role in rankings and local SEO, many reporting that it’s close to 40% of the local SEO algorithm for Google Maps. Since Facebook is the second most popular website, having a Facebook page for each of your locations will increase your citations significantly, thus improving your rankings for each store.
As Facebook gains speed as a search engine, your local businesses will be invisible to searchers unless each location has a Local Business Page. Facebook is making a major push into local search with its revamped Facebook Places, which is designed to allow users to search for a specific destination. The directory features breathtaking cover photos, city and category landing pages, discovery sections for restaurants, hotels, etc. (shown in the image below), location API, and user generated content.
Source: Matteo Gamba
According to Matteo Gamba, “Rather than offering a mere list of places, Facebook is now using everything it knows about you, your friends and what’s happening in a specific location to help you discover the best places in town… and make you forget about Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor and every other local discovery website."
Unknown Negative Reviews:
Keep in mind that if you don’t have pages for your stores, consumers can create them and then start posting negative reviews without you even knowing. If you create them first, this will mitigate the issue.
For companies with numerous locations that customers visit, it may be beneficial to have one Company Page and then set up Local Business Pages for each location. You can “turn off” the content portion of the location pages so that you can focus on creating and posting content solely on your Company Page. This way you won’t have to create custom content for or worry about people posting comments on your store pages.
To do this,
- Go to “Settings” at the top of your Page.
- Click “Posting Ability”
- Select “Disable posts by other people on my Page Timeline.”
Facebook Friends can influence search results:
According to Search Engine Land (LINK: http://searchengineland.com/facebook-search-not-google-search-145124), “Facebook is providing a new type of search that you simply can’t do on Google or anywhere else.” The difference is that on typical search engines like Google, we search for Web pages. The “connections” that help determine which pages rise to the top are primarily citations, although much more goes into the algorithm. With Facebook Graph Search, we search for virtual representations of real world people, places, and things. The “connections” are primarily Facebook “likes.”
Source: Bruce Clay
This is the revolutionizing aspect of searching on Facebook: Google can show you restaurants in San Francisco, but Facebook can show you restaurants in San Francisco liked by your friends. Of course this type of search loses utility without a substantial web of “likes.” However, as Facebook gains in popularity as a search engine, those connections will begin to build. Thus, as a business, it’s important that you not only show up, but you also obtain “likes” at the store level in order to influence search rankings on Facebook.