It may have started out as a way for friends to keep up with one another, but over the years, Facebook has become increasingly commercialized. Now, a new feature has been introduced that provides subscribers with location-based recommendations. The recommendations, known as Place Tips, will appear at the top of subscribers' news feeds, whenever they are in close proximity to a location where the feature is active, based on the history of likes or content relevant to that business
It may sound innocuous, but there has already been some speculation that Place Tips could be the demise of Yelp, at least according to InvestorPlace. Whether or not that will occur remains to be seen. One thing is certain: Place Tips are here, and to remain competitive, brands need to learn how to leverage them.
Brands should be aware of two key things when it comes to Place Tips. First, the new feature is only applicable to local businesses that have physical geographic locations. In other words, Place Tips will not serve as a source of organic exposure for businesses that operate strictly online. Second, Place Tips include user-generated content regarding businesses in a manner similar to Yelp and other sites.
Information Revealed by Place Tips
So, what exactly does Place Tips show? Actually, they show quite a lot. For instance, the feature will include an info card with quick facts related to that business. If a user's Facebook friends have been geotagged for that business's location, the friend's photo will appear. In the event a user's friend posts content relevant to that business, or even a nearby business, it will also appear. Recent content and photos posted by the business could also be shown.
Currently, Place Tips has only been rolled out in limited areas. These areas will likely expand in the near future.
Potential for Ads
Facebook has indicated that it does not plan to use the new feature for placing ads, but has stipulated they may explore that option at some point in the future. The chance that Place Tips could soon be linked to ads seems quite likely, given how successful mobile ads have been for Facebook. During the last quarter of 2014, mobile ad revenue comprised almost 70 percent of the company's total ad revenue, which was almost $4 billion, a year-over-year increase of 53 percent.
While Place Tips may not matter to business solely operating online, it could prove to be of significant importance to local businesses. Social-Local-Mobile is rapidly evolving as an important digital marketing trend. Place Tips has the potential to drive that trend this year.
Optimizing for Place Tips
So, if you are a local business, what can you do to make sure you are optimized for Place Tips when it comes to your area?
- If your Facebook page has not been updated recently, now is the time to do so. Make sure your page contains all the pertinent information, particularly your address and other location related information.
- Be sure to regularly update your page. Post relevant, fresh content. Keep in mind that Place Tips will choose the content to show to users, so supply a steady stream of fresh content to gain a competitive edge.
- Use rewards and in-store events to encourage customers to check-in on Facebook.
Place Tips will most certainly evolve as Facebook continues to roll out this new feature. Now is the time to ensure that your business is prepared.
Related: 10 Advanced Facebook Tips and Tricks
Related Book: Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising