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Two Facebook Changes That May Help You Market Your Local Business

Thu, Oct 13th 2011 12:00 pm

Along with last month's F8 announcement regarding the new Timeline, Facebook launched several new features, which are anticipated to change the way users engage with the platform. What does that mean for you? According to Peter Heffring, president and CEO of Expion, a privately held social software company, "changing Facebook user behavior will likely give local marketers distinct advantages over bigger, national brands."

While the intention of the Facebook updates is to increase overall user engagement, two of the changes stand to favor local marketers in the process. Here's how:

 

1. More Relevant News Feeds

The re-design of the news feed isn't just for looks. The new top stories functionality was developed to ensure that loyal fans don't miss posts from their favorite brands. How does this help you market your company? The more attention your business page receives, the more engaging content you'll need to create. Localized content tends to be more relevant, which gives your business more opportunities to stay at the forefront of users' minds.

Not quite sure what we mean? Let's use the example of Facebook Sweepstakes. Are you more likely to enter a contest run by a local business, or by a national chain that may not even have a location in your town? While the prize for the national chain may be greater, you'll have a better chance of winning locally, so that's the contest you're favored to enter. This analogy works regardless of the brand or type of content it posts. Local relevance increases the probability of engagement, every time.

 

2. The New Algorithm Emphasizes Engagement

Facebook's new  content algorithm, Graphrank, is designed to further help users cut through the clutter by prioritizing the posts that users interact with most. Heffring noted, "since localized content tends to have higher levels of engagement, content from local marketers could potentially gain priority."

Changes to "Recent News" and "Top News" also emphasize more positing frequency for engaging brands. Since these two feed types have been combined and supplemented with a live-stream news ticker,  it may benefit businesses to post user engagements more frequently. Try sharing more compelling content like photos, videos, offers, and questions in order to get the conversation started and improve your brand's engagement.

Need a hand boosting your engagement ratings and improving your marketing on Facebook? Contact an account manager today to learn more about our social media marketing plans and creative content writing.