Have 2 Minutes? Get Found on Nearby (Facebook Local Business Search)

nearby-inlineWant more customers to find your local storefront (the bricks and mortar kind), restaurant or place of business? Assuming  you said yes, let me tell you about Facebook’s local search app called Nearby. It’s Facebook’s version of Foursquare and it allows smartphone users to easily find local businesses, check-in, rate their service, and show their friends what a great time they’re having at these establishments.

Nearby, is a newer contender in the local search marketing arena, thanks to their acquisition of Gowalla last year. Because of the large number of users, Facebook is aggressively working to grow the service. Nearby’s greatest advantage is its access to Facebook’s potential 600 million+ mobile users using iOS and Android devices.

If you have a Facebook business Page, the service doesn’t cost you anything but two minutes of your time. Below, I’ll explain how to take advantage of this great opportunity in four simple steps.

How it Works

Those searching for a business in their surrounding area can find what they are looking for by category. Businesses with an updated Facebook page will appear in their Nearby list via the Facebook mobile app. The app displays results based on recommendations, ratings, check-ins, and likes from friends. Any company with a storefront can use this tool for promoting its business. I’ve used Nearby to find shops and restaurants when traveling–it’s very handy!

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Take 2 Minutes and Get Discovered On Nearby

Prerequisite: Facebook Page. Does your local business have one? If you answered no, it’s time to reconsider this. You won’t show up in a Nearby search unless you have a Facebook Page.

If you answered yes, you are almost there. You’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t include basic contact information. Ensure your business is easily found simply by making sure your contact information is complete and up-to-date.

Here’s how:

To start, go to Edit Page in your company’s Admin Panel. Click on Update Info.

  1. Choose a Business Category. First, select Local Business under the Category pull-down menu. Beside it you are then given another drop-down list with types of business of specific options (movie theater, restaurant, bookstore, spa, medical, automotive, etc.) Select the one that best describes your business. This ensures you show up when people search for that business category.
  2. Update your Contact Information. Include company name,  full address, city, state, zip code,  hours of operation, phone number, email and web address. Don’t leave anything out.
  3. Brag about your business. Update your About section to tell visitors what you do, what you make or sell, how you can improve their life, and why they should visit.
  4. Save your changes. Located at the bottom of the page.

Ask and You Shall Receive

To make local search marketing more effective, ask and encourage your consumers to check into your place via Nearby, rate your business, like your page, and recommend your place to their friends and others. Do this when chatting with your customers when they stop in (they’ll be impressed with your friendly service), mention it in your marketing materials, ads, receipts, website, or put up a sign.

Once you are up and running on Facebook or any of the other local search sites, be sure to keep your data current. As a local business, you’ll gain competitive advantage making it easy for customers to find you. If you don’t do it, your competitors will be the only ones to show up in a Nearby search — and we can’t have that!

For more information on Local Search Marketing read my earlier post: Local Search Marketing Its Free, Easy and Necessary.

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