Location Tools For Small Business

By Brandon Whalen     |     January 23, 2013

Next Thursday Jan. 31st, at 11:00am MST, we’re throwing a Location Tools For Small Business Twitter Party. Follow @Room_214 on Twitter and watch the #locationchat hashtag to get in on the action.

Last week, Facebook announce an expansion of it’s search offering called Graph Search, as well as an update to their location-based tool Nearby. While both of these announcements have a lot of implications for community managers for big brands, I couldn’t help but think that small businesses need to be all over this.

In the near future, your customers will be using Facebook graph search to find restaurants or stores their “friends have been to.” This is a vastly different search than a Google query for “stores in “Denver.” It’s different because in order to optimize your Facebook location pages to show up on Facebook Graph searches you need your customers to do things like check-in, Like your page and write Facebook reviews.

If the little guys want to compete, you better start pushing your customers to interact with your location pages. Do you have errant location pages on Facebook existing without branding, or management? You do, and you haven’t even claimed them!? If that sounds familiar let me highly recommend that you read into Facebook Parent-Child linking so you can claim your location pages on Facebook and associate them with your main brand page.

Of course, Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg in the local search game. At a bare minimum you should claim and optimize your listings on Yelp, Foursquare, Google Places (Google+ Local) and Facebook. Make sure all of the information is correct. Then start testing deals and offers. Need more info? Check out these mobile marketing tips for small businesses.

If you have five or more locations, this can be a pretty arduous task. You can reach out to a digital marketing company for help.

About Brandon Whalen

Brandon is Head of Marketing at Room 214. As a social media strategist he has worked on the social media presence for multiple world-wide brands including Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain and Hello Kitty. Brandon's work has resulted in growth of multiple millions of new fans on various social media networks for clients. As a contributor to Capture The Conversation and Word of Mouth Marketing Association's All Things WOMM blog, Brandon covers a big range of topics from social media marketing news to digital marketing strategy guides. Outside of work he is an active musician and lead singer for a band called My Body Sings Electric. You can catch the band playing shows around Denver or the west coast a few times a year. Want to connect with Brandon when he's not singing, writing, rooting on the Colorado Rockies or staying fit? Check his Facebook account, follow him on Twitter @Brandonsings, or head to Brandon's account on Google Plus.

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