Facebook to “Nearby” to enter the mobile search arena

- January 16, 2013

Facebook launches a new local business tool that allows a user to search for local businesses with their mobile application.  The biggest difference with this new app is that it features their “Friends” recommendations.

The new feature is only available on mobile applications and the goal is to focus on reviews, check-ins, and ratings by user’s “Friends” list.  This allows for a much more unique customer experience as the searcher will know exactly who gave the reviews and what their “Friends” thought of the experience at the local establishment.  This application is only available on Facebook’s mobile platform and not the desktop version.

This is a huge opportunity for local businesses to establish their brands within a community.  By receiving reviews from customers that will directly influence other customers, it will help them gain maximum exposure.  The only thing required to be able to use the Nearby feature is to have a Facebook page, as the feature does not openly use data on the web.

Here are some tips from Facebook on how to promote your business within Nearby:

  1. Update your page’s basic information, including address, hours of business, phone number, and details about your product/service.
  2. Update your Category – Example:  If you’re a restaurant, make sure you select the appropriate category in order for Nearby to allow your business to be found appropriately.
  3. Encourage Friends/Fans to “like”, “check-in”, ratings, and recommendations

At this time, the Nearby feature is completely free and automatically indexes all business that have pages on Facebook.

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