Facebook quietly rolled out a new feature for its iPhone and Android apps last month called Nearby. It helps users locate local businesses including restaurants, coffee shops, nightlife, outdoors and shopping as well as local landmarks. You can search by category (and then sub-category) or for specific business names. Your most recently searched items are automatically favourited below the category display. So it’s handy for consumers looking for entertainment and shopping plus beneficial to businesses looking for more customers.
Results are shown complete with map and listing which includes business name, category, profile pic, address, distance to venue – very handy, star rating along with details of friends’ Likes.
If you select a venue you’ll see more detail on Facebook’s new mobile Place Pages which includes handy buttons to call the venue, Like it or check-in. displayed plus there are also links to Get Directions and View Timeline.
You can read recommendations plus there’s a button at the bottom of the Page to leave your own recommendation.
As a social media consultant I’m continually encouraging local businesses to get engage their customers with their Facebook Pages and Nearby is a another reason for businesses to do so. Facebook wants to guide customers to businesses so it makes sense to take advantage.
Facebook has a huge amount of data about businesses; Likes, check-ins, comments, shares, star ratings and recommendations and uses this to decide which businesses are displayed and in what order. Having been using it for a couple of weeks it’s clear that Pages with plenty of Likes and check-ins from from friends feature high up the search results; which is what you’d expect.
To help business people use Facebook I run Facebook for Business and Advanced Facebook for Business workshops in Cheltenham. You can find out more here or give me a call on 01242 639023.