Facebook Ads and Local Business

Courtesy of Dan Entin of Zagat, I was pointed to a page on Facebook that showcases a local restaurant in Palo Alto — Junnoon. Think of it like an enhanced profile page or a full page yellow pages ad (which could also support video):

Junnoon

It’s at this level — local — that these branded pages make sense and will work for everyone. By associating myself with a local business, in this case a restaurant, I’m declaring it as a favorite or a recommendation to my network. That’s the intention behind Facebook Ads more generally. I just don’t think it works for familiar brands or large entities such as Coke.

At that level it feels manipulative (on Facebook’s part), even absurd — unless I associate myself with some aspect of Coke’s page that is funny or otherwise interesting (a poll, a short video, a game). On the SMB/local level the system potentially works well and is very provocative to me.

Local/small businesses have built pages on MySpace forever. Indeed, there was surprise for many when SMBs on their own started using the site as a marketing platform. But its simplicity and the ease with which they could get pages up and running was the appealing feature. In the recent Opus-AllBusiness small business marketing survey, roughly 12% of respondents (n=615) said they had created a profile on MySpace. While that number seems high, it’s an indication there’s an opportunity here.

I haven’t tried to build a page (beyond my profile) on Facebook. At this point it’s not clear that same “WYSIWYG” usability exists on Facebook, as it does on MySpace. But if so, more SMBs will come and build mini-sites. (Or others could potentially do it for them . . . wink, wink.)

18 Responses to “Facebook Ads and Local Business”

  1. share.websitemagazine.com Says:

    Facebook Ads and Local Business

    It’s at this level — local — that these branded pages make sense and will work for everyone.

  2. Scott Wyffels Says:

    As great as these pages look, they still are only found socially and I wonder if that is a limitation of the product.

    Right now, for a local business to be found, you have to either “search” for the page or have it show up in your News Feed because one of your friends became a “fan” of the local business or Facebook page.

    I currently do not have the option to search for local businesses with the most friends, or the ability to see what in my area has a Facebook page. I wonder if this will change in the future? Right now, I have no idea what I can become a Fan of in Facebook because it is almost impossible to search for Facebook pages. Is this a ploy to force them to pay for advertising?

    Also, this restaurant obviously paid to get a nice URL.

    http://www.facebook.com/junnoon

    Most page URLs look something like this….

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5674789403

    I am not sure I am a fan of that.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    I’ve argued that we’re going to see a Live Search box on Facebook soon. Not sure whether that will improve site search but some of your criticisms will ultimately be answered. Search must improve and will improve on the site I believe.

  4. Sonia Carreno Says:

    The site owners are unable to change any reviews or comments on their stand alone page. I think for many this could end in tears!

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    You can search for ads on Facebook. Also see: http://venturebeat.com/2007/11/11/facebook-search-expands-will-it-take-on-google/

  6. Scott Wyffels Says:

    Greg-

    That search is still limited. I have to have the business, brand, band, or politician I want to search for in mind.

    It isn’t a directory search.

    For example, I cannot find all the local restaurants in the Minneapolis Network. Facebook pages, right now, do not help facilitate the decision making process for finding somewhere to eat.

    Nor does it show me what “pages” are popular in my networks.

    I can search for something specific, but I can’t look for a category (bands, bars, restaurants, etc) of “pages”.

  7. Sonia Carreno Says:

    I think they’ll tie this in with their “Local Picks” application which lacks content at this point.

    http://passagecommunications.blogspot.com/2007/11/local-picks-on-facebook.html

  8. Local SEO Guide Says:

    It’s very easy to see how this morphs into Yelp, AngiesList, InsiderPages, etc.

  9. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree that search is limited, but it will improve you can be sure.

  10. Sohaib Says:

    I agree that small businesses will see the biggest benefit out of these pages while larger brand wont, great ideas though on how big brands can use them, the nice thing about the pages is that you can create one for free!

  11. Building Local Business Pages on Facebook « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Local Business Pages on Facebook Yesterday I posted about local business ads on Facebook. Here’s what I said: Local/small businesses have built pages on MySpace forever . . . I […]

  12. AV Says:

    To follow up on the search discussion, I believe the Facebook search is “OK” now. I live in MKE and conducted a search using the Search application to the left of the profile. I typed in “Milwaukee”.

    On the SERP, Facebook categorized in the following: “People”, “Pages”, “Groups”, “Events”, and “Applications”. While “Pages” is not entirely intuitive, this is where SMB pages are found. Here you can sign up to “become a fan”. Seems to work pretty well.

  13. JDA Says:

    They are certainly going to be a competitor in local… and it’s pretty typical for FB to start with individual pieces rather than throw the whole system out at once. BUT the system is lacking in some significant ways that seem designed for FBs benefit more than for the businesses benefit. For example, when I set up a page there was no way to add the notes application – my guess is that this is because it would be an easy way to go around paying for ads- but mySpace lets businesses do that, and business want that.

  14. David Says:

    I’m pretty new to Facebook, but already find it a nice way to learn about cool people, and now places, from friends. I tried out MySpace, but found it defaulted to providing less privacy. I also find the Facebook platform easy to work with — and it’s great to be able to offer pages, not just profiles, applications – not only for content, but to also integrate with other back-end systems. In fact, I updated an application I wrote for the sharing of Wi-Fi access with friends to also work with pages and fans. I think there will be more great things to come on the facebook platform – and perhaps with OpenSocial too.

  15. Mark Says:

    good post. It is hard to find pages now, one app you can add to increase your pages’ visibility is Top Pages.
    And if you don’t like Facebook’s URL’s, you can always do what I did and redirect a dot com address to it.

  16. Tomeii Says:

    Have anyone experimented with their socials ads or FB ads campaign. Any insights or information of the performance?

  17. Facbook Buying ‘Local’ Keywords « Screenwerk Says:

    […] sends you to a blank Facebook profile page, which is quite simple to set up. I would imagine that lots of small businesses would take advantage of this if they were aware of […]

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