Sometimes new things come along that you don’t quite expect, but other times you’re able to anticipate and prepare for changes. That’s life on the internet – ever changing. And, usually, it’s for the better.
Luckily, in this case, we have a little bit of notice. Last week there was some discussion about Facebook Services and how it may affect our franchise business. Well, I’m here to spell it out for you.
What Is Facebook Services?
Facebook Services is a business and service directory that connects searchers and users with service providers in their area by giving them a list/menu of providers to choose from based on proximity to them, ratings, and relevance of the services offered. Think a combination of Yelp and Customer Lobby, but a bit more accessible.
What Does Facebook Services Change?
In all honesty, there’s not much that will change as a result of Facebook Services becoming a part of your life – at least, not immediately. Facebook is still in the development and testing phase of this project, but it will definitely become an important part of your business and marketing strategy down the line.
It’s more important now than ever to have an active Facebook presence that is responsive, current, and positive.
What Are They Trying to Do?
Facebook Services is trying to do the same thing that many other business listing sites have done, but they have a slight leg up on some of the competition. Why?
Two words – “user base.”
Facebook has one of the largest active user communities in the world, trumped probably only by Google. Facebook is in the same business as Google in this regard – to get people the most relevant information they can, as quickly as possible. BUT Facebook adds a social element to the mixture as well. Because 71% of online adults have a Facebook account* (as of Sept. 2014) and it’s the 2nd most visited website in the country (second only to Google), that means that there is a very large user base in your area, no matter where you live. And ALL of these people have access to your business listings to not only view, but REview your business.
When you have a listing on Facebook Services, you’re visible to more than just your family, friends, and past customers. You’re visible to people who are actively looking for someone like you. Not only can they find you, but they can find pictures, links, reviews, and friends that have used your services all from their favorite place on the web – Facebook. That means your page, and all the people that like it, just got a whole lot more valuable.
What Do YOU Do?
Like I stated before, it’s now more important than ever to have an active Facebook page with accurate business information, regular posts, and reviews. While having a good Facebook page has been a “best practice” in the past, I’m moving it to a “gotta do it” status. If you want to be competitive in your local market, you’re going to have to do it.
You’re likely asking in your mind, “But what if we don’t know how?” Relax. I’m going to be hosting a series of webinars over the coming months that will show you all you need to know to manage your crucial social media outlets. Click the link below to register to receive email updates and invitations to the webinars.