Facebook’s introduction of Graph Search is creating a new opportunity for retailers and other brick-and-mortar brands to get exposure across the mighty social network. But in order to take advantage of this opportunity, retail brands with multiple locations will need to rethink their Facebook strategy, as local place pages become increasingly valuable.
Multi-location brands have historically been focused on their corporate Facebook brand page. But these brands do business on the local level, their customers are local, and over the past year, Facebook has continued to give local pages a greater voice on the social graph. And now with Graph Search, these local pages are more likely to surface than ever before.
One of the main challenges associated with local Facebook pages is data accuracy: The geocode (lat/long) is often incorrect, there are unauthorized duplicate versions of the pages created by consumers on their smartphones who cannot find the registered page, and address information and branding may be off. Graph Search Optimization is about correcting all these inaccuracies for the best possible search results, engagement, and discovery. MomentFeed offers this service through PinSync, a proprietary process that optimizes all aspects of local pages.
Graph Search lets consumers search for great places to shop, eat, stay, etc., all based on social connections. Meaningful results are naturally more likely to be stores in specific locations than some sort of corporate brand page. Which is why an unauthorized duplicate page with incorrect information about the address and/or business hours is a lost opportunity for brands that live and die by the number of people that leave money in cash registers across their actual locations.
Here’s what the results look like when searching for Best Buy in Minneapolis:
It’s not uncommon for retail, restaurant, or hospitality brands to have inaccuracies and unauthorized duplicates for as many as half of their local pages. In fact, it’s a significant problem for all multi-location brands. But on the flip side, solving these issues creates a competitive advantage for the brands that decide to invest in it. The growing exposure of local pages will make it obvious which brands are taking their Facebook presence seriously.
At MomentFeed we see Graph Search Optimization as a critical agenda item for retailers and other multi-location brands in 2013. It starts by registering and claiming local Facebook pages under the Parent-Child relationship. Then the pages must be updated with accurate geocodes, categorization, and contact details. And finally, unauthorized duplicate pages must be identified for each location and merged with the registered pages. This is an ongoing effort, an effort we are extremely passionate about.
Rob Reed is Founder and CEO of MomentFeed, the first social marketing platform built for mobile. MomentFeed brings together Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, and Instagram as a unified solution for connecting brands and consumers at the point of sale.