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The New Facebook Local

Written by: Colleen Frye

Available on the Apple App Store and Samsung’s Google Play, Facebook is introducing a new experience that allows you to discover places on the go, events happening near you and all powered by business & individuals that you know or can trust.

Launched in early November, Facebook Local is basically just the new and improved version of the Events app. It’s a directory of local businesses & events, all organized by category & whether or not ‘friends’ frequent them. It’s a bit like Yelp in a way but on a much larger scale – Facebook has 1 billion DAILY users & Yelp has 100 million monthly users.

Facebook Local relies on user generated content – so users are asked to provide photos of the business, note busy time & rank them based on the Facebook user reviews. Facebook local is very focused on people’s inherent need to fit in, so Facebook’s showing users information based on popularity by your friends. So basically, instead of using general user reviews to find the best tire shop in the area, Facebook Local helps you find the best tire shop, according to your friends.

Now, how will Facebook Local effect SEO… that always has to be something we ask ourselves! Here are a couple predictions on what we think –

Reviews will continue to gain momentum – On Facebook Local, businesses are ranked by their popularity among people Facebook users know & trust —not strangers or business owners posing as impostors.

Accuracy matters – It will be crucial for your Facebook page to be filled out completely and accurately! Remember: the more you fill out your profile, the less you force Facebook to crowd source an incorrect answer.

Check-Ins indicate popularity – By scanning its billions of users’ accounts, Facebook can look at check-ins to see which businesses are the most popular and when. Encourage your users to CHECK-IN! Simple as that.

Events will boost visibility – Hosting events increases your discoverability within the platform and your likelihood of being included in your customer’s’ feeds. Create events often and for anything you can, including product launches, sales, and obviously more traditional events. This will be something we will want to do more of – especially the idea of using ‘sales’ as events!

Ads will be crucial – So Facebook local DOESN’T include advertising yet, but you know it’s coming! Anything for Facebook to make a buck! We will keep an eye out to see how they plan to utilize ads on Facebook Local when the time comes!

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