Facebook have given small business owners a further incentive to join the many thousands of businesses already signed up to Facebook pages.

With the launch of ‘nearby’ search tool which is available on mobile devises that use iOS and Android platforms only, offers great potential for small businesses that rely on local customers within their communities.

‘Nearby’ had originally allowed users to search for their friends, but developers have upgraded the search engine to also find, local businesses.  For your business to be found in searches there are Facebook settings that need to completed.  Mandatory fields are:

your business post code along with full address
business hours
mobile or landland line phone numbers
details about your business

This is all found within the About Us section.  If this information is not entered for a business page it will not show up within searches.  Please note that your category of business will also need to entered, which again is in the about us section.

Local search Facebook rankings

How do I get customers to my Facebook Business Page?

Start to refer and encourage your customers to look at your Facebook page.  Create dialogue within your page and ask them to give you ratings, ask them to forward your page to their friends, ask them for comments on your features, articles and products that you may feature.  All of this interaction will count towards Facebook ranking in the same way that Google ranks websites.

Facebook is relying on its own data and they will only show business pages that have locations.  Unfortunately, a Google map on your own business website does not have any affect a Facebook search and with their push to have one billion members, CEO Mark Zuckerberg expects to see a significant increase in page penetration, especially amongst small businesses.

This upgrade now follows Google’s announcement back in August that they would be giving priority to local businesses within search that included location details.  Given that ‘nearby’ is only available on mobile handsets, Facebook claims to have 600million members who actively use mobile to access their social media accounts.

Therefore, if you are a small local business such as a hairdresser, beauty salon or a mechanics you cannot afford to ignore Facebooks new search tool.  Update your details today to let your local community find you.