Facebook is Set to Become a Local Search Juggernaut in 2016 (and Why You Should Care!)
12 Feb 2016
Facebook has long held sway as the king of social media platforms. The site has evolved continually since its inception, and now it’s transforming again. According to industry observers, “the company appears to be taking direct aim at local search companies like Yelp and Google.”
Indeed, its new offering looks and feels very much like the two aforementioned platforms. Dubbed “Facebook Services,” it includes local business and services listings, along with user ratings and reviews.
The latest round of innovations, then, is clearly targeted at business owners, turning this site into a powerful marketing tool for localized home services businesses that are savvy enough to capitalize on these new features. Read on to learn more about Facebook’s powerful new local search capabilities.
Facebook Local Awareness Ads
Facebook local awareness ads are a powerful feature that allow you to create highly targeted advertising campaigns. Reach your audience when they’re most interested in your products and services by using ads that connect with customers when they’re in physical proximity to your business.
This type of advertising is extremely cost-efficient because it optimizes for impressions (meaning the cost per result is lower), and it maximizes the number of locals you’re connecting with. Used as part of a robust social advertising campaign, these ads are a highly effective addition to any localized social media marketing campaign.
Efficient Call to Action Buttons
Facebook has redefined the call to action (CTA). You no longer need to worry about whether your visitors will understand the purpose of your marketing campaign. Facebook local awareness ads feature clear and specific call to action buttons that encourage your visitors to send you a message, call, get directions, or learn more.
Of particular interest for HVAC and other home services businesses is the click-to-call functionality for mobile devices. Since the ad displays only for mobile users in your immediate, pre-defined geo, these ads have the ability to generate direct phone calls from customers in your service area.
Facebook Local Business Reviews
Among the features available on Facebook business pages is an option to allow customers to post and read reviews. This engaging element puts Facebook in direct competition with sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, who offer similar functionality. However, Facebook has an edge in the fact that it serves as a well-established social media hub.
People already come to Facebook to see what their friends are doing and gather their opinions. Combining that social element with user reviews gives customers a centralized, familiar, and trusted place to go for more information on local products and services.
Facebook Professional Services
Facebook also is quietly testing their new professional services page. This facet of the site sorts existing business profiles into more than 80 highly targeted categories. Users can find providers for nearly any niche in their specific locale.
While it’s most useful for finding nearby service providers in your hometown, the feature also works for finding destination products and services, like the best spa for your next vacation, or a great pizza place near your friend across town.
Though the professional services site hasn’t been officially announced yet, plenty of sites from Tech Crunch to Marketing Land are taking notice. Most intriguing is the as-yet-undefined algorithm that Facebook uses to return results. They’re not sorted strictly by ratings or reviews, leading many to speculate that this feature returns results based on the user’s own habits and reviews, or those of their friends.
Leverage Facebook’s New Local Search Powers For Your Home Services Business
Facebook’s enhanced functionality for local and business searches makes it a prime choice for companies who are looking to strengthen their marketing strategies. Create a strong local presence for your company on Facebook, and you’ll enjoy highly targeted advertising features and convenient access to the local shoppers you want to reach most.
The LeadBuilder® local search specialists work directly with our social media team to keep your business connected with local customers searching for your services. With the launch of Facebook Services, we coordinate all elements of your local search and social media campaigns to ensure that your business is listed and available for customers who need your services.
Krystina Lisi is s Local Search Strategist at Mediagistic. She’s an Internet enthusiast with a passion for Google Maps, YouTube, and Social Media. She also is an amateur photographer and Netflix binge-watcher who enjoys 90s sitcoms and sketch comedy. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @krystinalisi.