Facebook has completely redesigned the ‘Nearby’ section of its mobile app. Before now you could only see where friends had checked-in and the feature lacked the search ability to find businesses in your current area. Now Facebook has added the search feature as well as the opportunity for users to review places. Cue the term Social Search! I have beenharping about Social Search and its future importance since I began my company. Social Search, for those of you who are new to my blog, is the blending of Social Media and Search Engines. Social Search uses information collected from Social Media platforms (in this case Facebook) and Online Search (in this case the map and search features associated with Facebook’s mobile phone app.)
Every day more and more people are performing searches using their mobile phones and many of them are location-based, meaning they are looking for information relative to their current location. Businesses that appear on these searches have a major advantage over the ones that do not. For instance, with Facebook’s new ‘Nearby’ feature only businesses that have a Facebook page with a valid address will appear on the map. The ones who utilize their page more and have more fan interaction will appear towards the top of the search. Facebook users will still be able to see which of their friends have checked-in to a business or place but now they can also rate these places with a 1-5 star rating system. Businesses with higher ratings will appear higher in search.
Facebook is not the only company that uses user information in online search. Google Maps (Google+ Local) and Yelp are similar programs that will use a person’s location, their friends and a company’s online reputation to show search results. So what can you do to help better your odds of being found?
- Perform a search of your business on these programs. Do you show up? What do they say about you?
- Join the programs. If you haven’t set up a Facebook page or a Yelp account, what are you waiting for?
- Get customers to talk about you. Many of your best customers would be happy to help. Sometimes you just have to ask.
If you need any help getting your business involved in any of these programs I have mentioned or would like more information, please contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (720) 446-6640. I specialize in working with local businesses to grow and manage their online presence including Social Media, Social Search, Website Development and Search Engine Optimization.