Facebook Local Search feature is expected to go into giant sleeping, as there are many opportunities to tap into for local businesses. Facebook Local Search needs to take few initiatives to improve upon this area.
There is no doubt that Google wins over by huge figures, when it comes to local search. FourSquare and Yelp also have respectable sized audience, but they face challenges of fragmented small and medium businesses. Yelp brings out product focus with direct local ad sales. There are Yellow pages, but nobody to focus on locale and mobile products.
In this run, Facebook is not counted and thus, is called “sleeping giant” within local. At user end, Facebook is back and forth on places and check-ins. Though nearby feature is branded as ‘local search’, but it’s not in limelight because of User-interface aspect. At one end, where Google is known for best advertising, like advertising at a store, while at other end, Facebook is like advertising a party. Will Facebook be able to bring the needed changes or wake up out of the sleep?
Facebook has an opportunity to handle local searches and there is a positive sign that few weeks back, there were some impressive figures to support local search usage. The announcement at local Search Association brought to light that around 70 percent of Facebook users are linked to at least on local business page. Above it, it should not be ignored that Facebook has second largest application usage for local search. However, it is still sleeping. What would be the effect, if it pushes hard on local search?
Many experts believe that the improved figures would be a pleasant surprise. Though Facebook is trying to give exposure to Small and medium business, but local search is till underdevelopment. The product updates would have local features for users as well as merchant tool too for pages. It would be easy to fix an appointment for home services, getting coupons and offers for retail, beauty spa and restaurants.
Google Graph would add relevance further. Integrating Facebook with Graph Search, mobile news feed and Local Search would give an opportunity to buyers and sellers to connect. It would be easy both for users and companies to involve in engagement. Business would get local customers and users in turn would get reviews, feedback of various product and services in proximity. Merging of local advertising with user experience would be lot beneficial. This opportunity can be bifurcated in mobiles and can become the part of mobile marketing. Thus, there is a need for Facebook Local Search to wake up from this giant sleep and take the needed initiatives.