Over the past year, Facebook has exploded into several new offerings. They quickly developed themselves into one of the largest online advertisers and surprised the world by creating their own local search engine. Based on the opinions of experts in this area of focus, Facebook has a chance to succeed where Google+ failed - by creating the smartest online local search platform. From their continually expanding user base, to their content sharing interface and immense demographic storage, Facebook has set themselves up to take the local search industry by storm.
The new intuitive search functionality, referred to as “Facebook Services”, allows for shoppers to discover local businesses directly on Facebook’s interface. This is instrumental to Facebook’s development as it can now compete on local search ad expenditures, a projected $168.9 billion dollar industry according to BIA/Kelsey, which would normally be invested in Google, Yelp, and other established players.
Every category is present, from “Automotive” to “Restaurants” to “Plumbers” and more.
About one year ago, Facebook partnered with the open data platform Factual and created a Facebook page listing for EVERY business/storefront in the United States. The point? You cannot be a successful search engine without every business searchable… just ask Foursquare.
Most companies have no knowledge that these pages even exist or how to find them. This is where every company needs to FOCUS! These pages grow in popularity everyday, are prioritized over brand pages and diminish the image Google has of businesses - effectively lowering trust and hurting rankings. Claiming these “unofficial” pages would take an agency or store five minutes to accomplish and would make an exponentially positive impact on the business’ ability to appear on page one of Google. Additionally, choosing to ignore these pages does not stop the 1.7 billion active Facebook users from posting reviews or checking in, nor would it allow a business’ information to be accurately represented. Facebook Services is paving the future of online shopping, and to ignore this new intelligent search engine could very well lead to your business’s demise.
There are several key reasons why this can have a massive impact on the Local Search industry:
- Facebook’s entire model is based on content posting. Leaving reviews has become so widely adopted by the 1.7 BILLION users of the site, that in just two years it has developed into the largest review engine in the country. Unlike Yelp or Google, every visitor to the Facebook has a login, making it that much easier for them to post to the site.
- Facebook knows EVERYTHING about their users. This is major because, compared to Google+’s attempt at gaining user engagement and getting people to provide their information on the social media site, Facebook was very successful. This gives them a huge opportunity to create an intelligent search engine that the world has never seen. They can provide prioritized results based on your personalized interests. They even prioritize businesses that have been liked by your friends!
- If Facebook rolls out a new mobile local search app, they could potentially gain over a billion downloads. This would propel them to the #2 spot for local search in a matter of months - quickly giving Facebook an enormous edge over players like Google and Yelp.
- People are ADDICTED to Facebook and don’t want to leave anytime soon. Now they won’t have to. With the new Services feature, users can immediately access everything they need, from shopping for local food to finding an auto dealership - Facebook allows them to see it all in one place.
- Facebook listens to it’s users. They are constantly changing, updating and improving their site based on user recommendations. Even going so far as to let users order food from a “Facebook Menu”.
Additionally, Facebook does not allow companies to delete these listing pages, so it is imperative that businesses claim these listings to monitor the online reviews that are coming in. This is where we come into play: Chatmeter works to help companies find these rogue Facebook pages, clean up the information, and give managers a way to monitor reviews in a single comprehensive dashboard.
Schedule a complimentary demo with us today where we will show you exactly what your business’s Facebook pages look like and how many reviews they are generating.
If you think Facebook is declining….here’s the proof that it’s still continuing it’s amazing growth (below).