Facebook Chooses Factual For Its Local Search Data
In recent years Facebook has transformed from a widely popular social media site to a platform integral for many businesses’ and brands’ success. According to a study done by Kendall College, 58% of consumers who plan to buy products in store visit businesses’ Facebook pages before purchasing. Clearly, people no longer only use Facebook as a means to connecting with their friends and as a virtual photo album. Facebook has evolved into an integrated local search platform where customers can seek out local businesses (and their contact info), read branded messages, and discuss their experience via stared reviews (we’ve even seen them automatically adding menu pages, and hours of operation… sounds like Yelp, right?).
With the introduction of Facebook’s Places Search and the popular Check-In feature, the media site is relying on accurate location data more than ever to help users find businesses locally, which is why Facebook’s decision to switch from using credit card NAP info and user-driven creation to Factual for its local business data may be of interest to brick-and-mortar business managers who rely on Facebook to point their customers in the right direction.
What Is Factual?
Factual is a location-data firm that provides local business data on a global scale. According to Factual’s director of marketing and operations, Vikas Gupta, “Factual’s database is built through over 5 million sources and includes information on around 80 million specific business locations.” Factual collects its data from a variety of different sources including information obtained through web crawlers, partnerships with business listing management companies such as Yext and Placeable, and data updates provided by users of Apple Maps reporting incorrect information. Factual’s data includes the information associated with business locations appearing in maps such as phone numbers and business hours, but excludes review data.
What Does This Mean For Local Search?
Facebook has now climbed, in the past 9 months, to the 3rd largest local search engine in the world, and with almost 70% of businesses using Facebook to promote their brands, the newly created locations through Factual will be unbranded (and potentially inaccurate) unless businesses are able to seek them out. Unlike all of the other big data aggregators out there, Factual gets the majority of its data from web-scraping with very little human verification. As a result, businesses may start to see inaccurate business information being given through Facebook’s Places Search. Web crawlers do their best to match the data they find on the web with information from other sources, however, without human verification there is a larger margin for error. Today, with so many people using Facebook to search for local businesses, it is necessary that your businesses’ information is correct to continue to drive business. This may require you to check your parent/child Facebook pages to ensure that incorrect information isn’t stunting business as well as creating store pages for each location to further maintain accuracy.
The challenge is… If you’re a chain, it is very difficult and time consuming to track down all your old and new pages. Chatmeter can. Contact Chatmeter today for assistance in ensuring that all of your Facebook (and all major directory) business Pages are accurate and are driving rather than hindering business! Having accurate information on Facebook is extremely valuable and is a huge source of SEO and citation references for your business. After making sure all of your pages are accurate, we can show the effect in real time on your local search rankings. Our dynamic and innovative tool makes the process quick and easy and will greatly improve your online marketing strategies.
Contact Chatmeter for a consultation today.