Do Facebook Changes Affect Your Local Business?

Like the search engines, Facebook is constantly making changes to try to increase profitability. Read below to see if these changes will affect your business.

FacebookSome of the changes that have been made over the last couple of years are:

  • The categories you choose for your Facebook business page are more important now. (Local businesses should use the category Places when they create their Facebook business page because this page contains your business name, address, your phone number and a map to your business which the search engines recognize as a citation.)
  • Open graph was introduced. (This made it easier for webmasters to tell Facebook what their content is about.)
  • Facebook is gradually reducing the number of fans that your posts reach unless you’re using their paid advertising platform. (It’s estimated that you only reach about 10% of everyone that’s liked your page on any given post.)
  • Facebook is making it easier for your customers to leave reviews on your Facebook business page. (Reviews left by your customers are the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising and numerous studies have shown that they are trusted as much as referrals from friends and family.)
  • Facebook is bringing search in-house instead of having it powered by Bing. (This shift will allow Facebook to alter the algorithm so that searches return content found from within Facebook Posts and pages first.)

Facebook has a huge and loyal user base in almost every country.

As Facebook in-house search functions improve, local businesses that have larger fan bases than their competitors, more content than their competitors, better reviews than their competitors and a better connection to their fans will get more business than their competitors.

Many local business owners know that they need to have a Facebook presence but they don’t have the time, skills nor desire to effectively build a business page and a fan base to communicate with on that platform.

You need to determine the lifetime value of each of your customers and decide whether it is worth the time and expense to establish and maintain a Facebook presence that will help you grow your business on this ever-changing platform.

It’s also important to keep an eye on your local competitors because if they have a good presence on Facebook and they are actively building their fan base, Facebook and the search engines will both see them as more of an authority in your local niche than you.

Losing the war for eyeballs within Facebook is one thing but if that adversely affects where you’re found in the search results on Google and Bing you have a completely different story.

Until Facebook announced they were bringing search in-house, many local business owners could afford to put up their local business page and be inconsistent on building it, if they even tried after putting it up.

You and your competitors will have to start paying attention to each other’s presence on Facebook if you want to get and then maintain your position as a market leader within your niche in your community.

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Do Facebook Changes Affect Your Local Business?

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