Demonstrating that it is committed to going beyond simply being a social platform to share memes and keep up with friends, Facebook’s latest mobile update has propelled it further towards being a comprehensive tool that helps its users in a variety of everyday situations.
Facebook’s latest update to its mobile app is positioning the social giant as a genuine competitor to Google Local and it is greatly benefiting small and local businesses in the process.
Facebook mobile pages get an important redesign
As Facebook mobile pages now function more like actual web pages, local businesses should find it much easier to connect and interact with their potential customers. Users can now make appointments and book reservations directly through mobile pages, and businesses can provide users with special offers and perks more easily.
Facebook Actions are a key part of this mobile update. Users will now have the option to tap on a simplified and highly functional suite of actions that will help them to do an array of things, including sending messages, writing recommendations and ordering products, all via a single app on a mobile device.
The recommendations feature has been given greater prominence
As the recommendations feature is now much more prominent, the process of nurturing endorsements between users has been both simplified and emphasised. Although the benefits of encouraging users to ‘like’ a Facebook page are somewhat limited, encouraging users to tap on the recommendation button will post directly to that user’s Facebook timeline, which will also be shared to their friends and family.
The recommendation will also be displayed on the businesses’ page too, which will likely have a positive trust building effect amongst potential customers.
Facebook’s events feature has been expanded
Facebook events allow businesses to create an event and ensure it is promoted to relevant and interested users. The platform itself reports that businesses selling tickets using the events tool have experienced large increases in ticket sales.
When a user expresses an interest in attending a local event, this information will be shared with their friends. Utilising this tool provides businesses with a simple and effective way to establish word of mouth recommendations in the digital sphere, without requiring individual users to do anything beyond simply expressing an interest.
The worldwide roll out of Facebook’s job application tool
As this tool allows businesses to post job vacancies in a matter of minutes and helps users to find their next career move in their local area, Facebook is immediately looking like a more useful and attractive platform for both individual users and businesses.
The launch of Facebook Local
The new Local section on the Facebook app has been designed to complement the social giant’s existing standalone local app and will help more people to learn about relevant local events and discover local businesses.
This particular update is Facebook’s most overt challenge to the search features currently offered by Google Local. While it remains to be seen whether Facebook will become a significant competitor to Google, it is certainly an important tool that local businesses should be leveraging to propel themselves one step ahead of their competition.