With over 80 million small businesses using Pages to engage customers and drive growth, Facebook has become an indispensable resource for local advertisers.
1.6 billion people use Facebook to connect with small businesses, and the majority of these users visit their favorite businesses’ Pages on a weekly basis.
And while pay-per-click platforms like Google Ads offer a number of tools to help the little guy grow, Facebook wields a huge advantage: the ability to directly communicate with eager prospects and loyal customers alike.
Now, due to popular demand, the social media giant is ramping up its local business game with a suite of changes and updates. Let’s look at each one in turn.
1. Letting Visitors Take Action on Your Page
Whether you’re creating a landing page form or building a website, a core principle of online marketing is making the consumer exert the least effort possible. The less your prospect has to do, the happier she is. The same logic applies to your business Page.
That’s why Facebook is making super easy for the users who visit your Page to take immediate action. Whether you sling pizzas, offer luxury massages, or both—Pizza & Pamper would be incredible—you can enable consumers to convert as soon as they land on your Page.
Facebook is especially focused on local businesses that sell tickets to events. Every month, 700 million consumers use Events when looking for something to do in their neighborhoods. To help your business drive more sales, Facebook is now enabling you to sell tickets directly through the platform. No longer will your business lose prospects who don’t make the transition from your Event to your website.
2. Encouraging Customers to Do the Selling For You
When someone is in the market for a cup of coffee or a new pair of slacks, he’s inclined to ask friends and family for their suggestions. Facebook tapped into the influence of social circles with the introduction of Recommendations.
The original idea: a user can indicate that he’s looking for Recommendations when posting a status. Then, when his friends comment with their ideas, Facebook populates the comments with names, locations, and reviews of relevant local businesses.
That’s still around. And now, Facebook users can post Recommendations—complete with text, images, and tags—directly on your Page. Essentially, Facebook is enabling your most enthusiastic customers to post testimonials for all your prospects to see.
And don’t worry—the platform will make sure your competitors aren’t undermining your business with negative reviews.
3. Giving Visitors an Inside Look into Your Business
As emphasized in our recent blog posts, social media is trending toward Stories. Between Facebook and Instagram alone, over half a billion people use Stories to provide friends and followers with immersive visual updates.
Stories are a stellar way for your business to give Page visitors a behind-the-scenes look at your daily operations. Consumers love their local businesses because they contribute to a sense of community and togetherness. You can take this one step further by using Stories to develop a personable, community-oriented brand.
Plus, talk about ease of use: all a visitor needs to do in order to experience your local brand Story is click on your Page profile image.
4. Making it Easy for Consumers to Find You
This is the part I find most exciting. Mobile Facebook users have access to a section of the app titled “Local.” Here, nearby consumers will find tons of information about your business: location, hours, ratings, reviews, and friends’ Recommendations. Of course, users can also click through to your Page to find all the same stuff and more.
There’s a Facebook Local app, too. Based on a user’s location, she’ll find everything she needs to know about local businesses, upcoming events, places her friends have gone, and the like.
As consumers spend more time on mobile—and dedicate more mobile time to social media—it becomes increasingly crucial for your business to cultivate a friendly, engaging Facebook Page. By taking advantage of Actions, posting Stories, encouraging Recommendations, and cementing your presence in the Local section and app, you’re setting your business up for success in an era of immediate consumption via digital platforms.