As Facebook continues to be under fire from all directions, the changes to their platform keep rolling in, almost weekly.
This week Facebook announced some changes to their mobile app that would particularly benefit local business pages.
In short, they added the local tab and redesigned it to focus more on content that is more community focused. Things like events and local business recommendations are far more prominent. Also, they are organized based on a users friends + their location to emphasize local business while helping a user discover new places.
Why did Facebook roll out this design? Our prediction is that they need to make up up some of the lost organic reach pages have experienced in the last several years. More specifically, they are working to make their platform more intent based by users who are searching for food delivery, various services or events in their community.
Here's what the local tab on the Facebook app now looks like for the user:
What do these changes mean for you?
If you're planning your content calendar based on how many posts to do in a week, then it's time to completely rethink that approach.
It’s not just about, "how many posts can we do or what time are we posting a photo today." Rather, you should be asking yourself, what kind of information is going to be beneficial to someone should we share it on Facebook or any other social channel.
“Facebook events have 700 million people searching to find local events happening near them.”
Placing a heavy design emphasis on events is no shock given the stat of 700 million Facebook users who search events for local happenings.
One of the most interesting changes was in the way Facebook is now pushing for recommendations of local businesses instead of reviews. Traditionally, the star review system is what most users are familiar with, but by allowing users to provide a 'recommendation' it pushes more positive feedback, which is both good for a person trying to find a local coffee shop and for a local business page.
For local businesses, this will be less of a worry about the platform now as the recommendations should be mainly about positive experiences.
Most page admins should have received an email detailing out which new page template they would be changing to and when the change would be taking place. While a lot of pages have a newer format already, this is now being implemented for all business pages and they will be switched over to one of 10 page templates:
- Restaurants & Cafes
- Video Page
How do you shift your social content approach?
So what does this all have to do with your approach to social content? Well, it means that if you’re running a social account for a smaller business, your job just changed from content creator to community curation.
Instead of posting an image with a caption, it would better suit the business page to work on an event for fans or community members. Or putting together more stories giving a behind-the-scenes look at how your bakery prepares the daily selection of muffins for the day will reach more people than that one photo on your feed.
Facebook is pushing for your customers to take an action on your Facebook page instead of sending them off to another website. Here's what a local business page will look like:
In conclusion, these changes can really help drive more customers and more revenue at the end of the day for local business pages. Focus your content strategy around those actions (orders, ticket sales, event attendees, recommendations) and you will see a successful Facebook page helping your business achieve real results.