9 December, 2014

Facebook Places is Making Its Mark in Local Search

The online market for discovering businesses, especially local businesses, have largely been powered by Yelp, Foursquare, Google and Trip Advisor. Well, move over because Facebook Places has arrived. Well the new look to it and better design have finally arrived.

Sensational cover images, a discovery section, city and category landing pages and user content are just a few of the improvements integrated in their new facelift.

facebook places local image

The new Facebook Places Directory allows you to browse a list of cities segmented by country, or search for a specific destination with links to popular local venues, all with great visuals to draw people in.

Once you’ve found the city of your choice, you’ll enjoy a cover image based on your search, labelled by the City of your choice, and includes the number of likes and check-ins connected to your specified city.

Facebook Places City SearchOnce in your desired location, the page breaks down into 6 main categories tabbed right under the banner to help you move quickly and easily through the different sections:

* Restaurants                                                            * Cafes
* Hotels                                                                       * Public Attractions
* Bars                                                                           * Arts & Entertainment

To simplify it even further, each main category features 5 tiles of the top choices in that category. Each tile shows off the best picture, place name with phone number, address, business hours, average price, and number of reviews, average rating and even friends’ comments.

Facebook Places Cafe Search Example

For those who rely heavily on reviews, you can enjoy the slider underneath the tiles with recent reviews. Because friends reviews are value more highly than others, any friend reviews will be shown first to increase the relevancy of the content.

Your search into your selected city doesn’t end with the 6 main categories, however. You can delve deeper with the “More” section which supplies less relevant categories at the bottom of the page (movie theatres, gyms, grocery stores and others). Facebook Places also allows you to browse nearby cities with an interactive map. From each section, you can either visit the suggested place directly or access a Graph Search query view.

Facebook Places Map Search

Facebook Places goes beyond a site just to find your next great vacation spot or date-night. Places allows you to share your location, see where your friends are and connect with them easily. You can also tag your friends in the Places you visit or like.

Why does this matter to local businesses? All those tags and reviews build a strong online presence and make your business more discoverable. Tags and reviews also are another great asset to help sway people to your business.

So go to Facebook places now, search for your city and see what you can discover about you and your competitors. You might even discover a new place for yourself!