The last time you hopped on Facebook to let fans know about your next in-store event or deli special, you may have been scratching your head, wondering why am I spending time shouting this to the entire social sphere when only the local community (and occasional vacationer) can do something about it?
The answer: It's a quick, easy and free way to potentially reach tons of people, relevant or otherwise.
The better answer: It's a quick, easy and free way to potentially reach tons of people, especially the relevant ones who can help grow your local following. Here's how.
According to a recent Social Media Examiner story, brick-and-mortar businesses should—among other audits and tweaks—change their Facebook Page category to Local Business and enable the Check-in option so that:
- Shoppers can let everyone in their network know that they're visiting your natural store via checking in.
- Your natural store will appear as having been checked into in the results of a Graph Search—Facebook's newish social search function that retrieves info as simple as: "Grocery stores nearby," to as complex and customized as: "Grocery stores in Boulder, Colorado my work friends check in at"… nearly a tacit recommendation—and that's the idea. This also works with likes and places of work (i.e. restaurants my friends like/work at), so encourage your patrons to like you and your employees to name you in their profile.
Promote Check Ins to grow checkouts
This first version of Graph Search enables Facebookers to find you by way of location, category, photos, videos, connections and interests—the more of this information featured your Facebook page, the better your chances for connecting with potential customers. In addition to boosting Check Ins, here are some Graph Search Optimization strategies.
- Use photos and videos to drive engagement: posts with photos and videos routinely see increased engagement levels, which Facebook uses as a signifier of quality content.
- Multi-location brands should claim local pages for all physical locations: a strong local presence with accurate location data boosts visibility in local search results.
- Create a local engagement strategy: combining local data with engagement will significantly boost visibility. Engage customers with check-ins and promotions and be sure to ask for customer reviews.