If you’re a marketer who is managing business pages in Facebook, the answer is absolutely yes (in the past three plus years). Okay, mad might not be the right word… Frustrated? Bummed? Yep. But I have some great news!

Facebook has been tweaking things in ways that really help us with organic growth. Here I explore the latest ways they’re helping.

6 ways Facebook business pages are great for location-based business organic growth

  1. Patrons often geo-tag their Facebook photos, whether they’re tying to “check-in” or not. This means the admins for the page get a notification Facebook restaurant check-inEVERY time someone posts a photo or indicates they were at your establishment.
    Which means? You have an opportunity to THANK them for visiting your establishment! This is a chance to bolster that relationship, and hopefully a way to make their visit with you even more memorable (so they’ll be more likely to come back). There’s a surprise & delight element here that shouldn’t be overlooked.
    Note: For whatever reason, if they comment again or like your response comment, you will NOT get a notification on that! Go back from time to time and see if there’s even more interaction (like “The meal was delicious!”).
  2. These same patrons are then prompted by Facebook to “Like” your page!Facebook business page like
    Which means? Your follower growth is growing organically, simply because of this change by Facebook. While this is a vanity metric, there’s an awesome change that came up recently (covered later in this post) that makes this even more awesome.
  3. Patrons and guests of patrons who were tagged in a photo are then again prompted within a day or so to write a REVIEW for the business!
    Which means? The number of reviews your business receives will go way up. Chances are not guaranteed (of course), but are likely that the review will be favorable. Fewer people will post to social if they’ve had a bad time or didn’t like the business.
  4. Friends of all of these patrons are also more likely to see their photos and posts, getting a glimpse into the business… and perhaps they’ll become a fan too? Also, friends of people who follow your page who have liked your posts see that activity.
    Which means? They then might like your post too! If you look to see the list of WHO is liking your stuff, Facebook now enables you to invite (non-Facebook business post likefans) to like your page right there! It works – I did it this week (see image to the right), and now I have a new, engaged fan.
  5. Live location is now in Messenger. It’s an easy way to share your location with friends and family. You can choose whether to share it continuously for an hour or as one static share. Which means? It’s another way for your business to get exposure.
  6. Search has been expanded in Facebook. Another great feature for local businesses is the way search works now. If you’re going to a city like San Diego where you know friends of yours have been, you can search “Visited by friends.” Which means? We all know we trust our friends more than advertising, and this will help your organic reach for local businesses!

The check-in notifications and review prompts are not brand new, but worth adding to your strategy. Do you have someone on your team who is responding to all these posts? If the answer is no, it’s worth considering the benefits.

Expanded search

In this example I searched on “global meetings industry day 2017,” and it defaulted to “Posts from Friends,” but gave me a chance to narrow the search.

Local businesses have the opportunity to have more posts seen in this way.

COMING Soon: Facebook is currently testing an even further expanded search, which will enable you to search “nearby restaurants,” and get reviews along with it. They appear to be moving in on Yelp’s territory (no complaints here!). As TechCrunch states in this article, “ ‘A spokesperson for Facebook confirmed the feature saying, “We’re testing a new way to discover where to go and what to do around you.’ ”

Awesome change to Facebook business pages

I recently liked a page on Facebook — my friend’s new business, Fredericksburg Cupcake — and I began getting notifications for it every time they posted. This was a first for me!

I wasn’t seeing it in my feed, but seeing this green image in my notifications is something I had never seen before. It perplexed me, so I set out investigating! It turns out this is a promoted post, which you can use to target specific demographics. Seeing this in notifications versus serving it up in the feed was new for me. I’d be interested to hear if your experience with this feature is different.

When you “like” a page, you are automatically “following” them. In following them, you can also control what you see.

Bonus tip

You probably noticed that sometimes you get a pop-up when someone responds to a post you’ve initiated or commented on. They’re calling it a “tab,” but when something pops-up, that’s what I call it! If you’d like to make it stop, here’s how.

Go to the very bottom right-corner of the Facebook browser window, and click the gear icon. The click Turn Off Post Tabs. Done!

Conclusion

Some of this might not be “new” news to you, but after several conversations I had at Social Media Marketing World from people interested in how I do social for restaurants, I thought it was worth the share. I also learned of more additions as I was writing the post.

Facebook continues to be an ever-evolving, ever-frustrating, but EVER-essential tool for all of us to use! I really like the changes they’re making for local businesses to reduce the frustration with organic growth on Facebook.

While it’s important to keep up on these updates, it’s just as important to use them to your advantage. It’s also crucial to keep up on engaging with the visitors that are engaging with you. If they include their (aka, YOUR) location in your post, they’re doing you a huge favor. Reward them for it by acknowledging them!

And… If you don’t have the time or the staff, it’s worth reviewing where time should be spent with your social. Please reach out to me if you’d like help with your local business marketing!

 

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