Social networking is one of the 3 components to local search. Currently there are many different sites and services one can use. Facebook is one of the more popular services and one that you should take a closer look at, when discussing local search.
I have only been involved with Facebook for a short time but it is one that I use every day now. A lot has been and will continue to be written about Facebook but the two components I want to touch on are: local businesses using Facebook (today’s post) and local search on Facebook (tomorrow’s post).
Leveraging Facebook for Business: This is a nice summary (written by Jordan McCollum at Marketing Pilgram) of two different articles about businesses and how they can use Facebook. Facebook is a viable option for any business. The smart businesses and organizations will look into how they can tap into this social networking, because it is only going to grow.
I would summarize Facebook’s key points for business are:
-it is very easy to connect with those in your field and/or customers
-can create topic / service specific group(s)
-can participate in your network marketplace
-can create and use a variety of applications within your profile
-overall is a good tool for branding yourself or business
What about the local business specifically? A few months ago Darby Sieben had an article: Facebook – Can Local Business Florish in Social Networking on his blog. Darby talked about how a local (Toronto) Yoga instructor doubled her class size after posting it in the Facebook Marketplace. He provides some cool stats and a link to the original article.
Darby believed small local business can and should use Facebook to build their business via their network market place. I totally agree. Darby concluded: “I would encourage any small business owner to build their profile on Facebook.com..Then invite your best customers to join and have them talk about their experiences..if you have a unique product or service, build a group and really generate the buzz around it – one very interesting aspect of Social Networking is that people want to hear what other people have to say. Just ensure that you do it in a manner that is consistent with the forum that you are in.”
It does not take a lot of time to create your profile, the time commitment will come during the “social” aspect of Facebook -adding friends, applications, creating/interacting with groups. For the small business, the enemy is usually time but it does not need to be a daily activity. Remember our motto- small local business looking to find creative ways to increase their local on-line visibilty….
How about a back-to-local movement for businesses who are tired of losing business to the Amazonâ€™s of the world. Iâ€™m thinking a local presence in my virtual neighborhood, where the gas station lists their current prices (one can hope!), and the local grocery displays advertised specials.Could it be that we could see a resurgence in local shopping? Is it time for the Mom and Pop stores that were pushed out by Wal-Mart to push back?
its very interesting point of view.
thank you 😉
I basically only used facebook for marketplace now. I can’t stand what it has been turned into these days, especially with all the apps and such.
I like Facebook and the apps these days, I think it helps folks conenct on different levels. Facebook definitely is something a business can use to its advantage with the apps.
Thanks for sharing
I would have a question: how would you evaluate the recently added feature of Facebook that allows IMAGE advertisement of the entire network (you can choose which users to promote your ad to by selecting their job, interests and so on..)
great info here!!