Facebook Local, a Game Changer? or One More Nail in the Coffin?

rosewood

Several days ago Facebook announced a roll out of a new product, Facebook Places, https://www.facebook.com/places. They are touting it a combo of the much hyped but never really rolled out Graph Search, Facebook local search and a bunch of other elements creating a mish mash that as of yet hasn’t really found a direction. Whether it does or not remains to be seen.

Why is this important for innkeepers (who are still using Facebook) to know?

First and foremost is in the search options, hotels and restaurants are front and center as options for search. If your Bed & Breakfast doesn’t have “hotel” in both your category and subcategory, your inn/B&B won’t show up in search. If you don’t previously have that as options and you change them, it appears to take about 24 hours for it to show up in search, that may change as more features develop.

Some things to note about “Local”. It has effected business pages and business page layouts, The option to make your reviews tab go away has moved (it’s now Page info) this is coinciding with the redo of your Facebook business page “About” section. You no longer get to that from your settings tab (above the banner fold), you have to edit it on the “About” tab now. If you select a “featured page owner” the name and photo no longer appears in your about section, or at all, which means it will probably disappear as an option shortly.

On a side note, where you went to pre-schedule posts has also moved from the bottom left of a post to the small arrow to the right of the post button. Combined with the above changes to the about section I can foresee multiple further changes rolling out (unannounced) in the next few weeks+. Posts now have a drafts feature as well as an icon for what you are doing/feeling (similar to the option in personal profiles.)

Back to Facebook Local, reviews have become predominant and unfortunately photos in Facebook Local are not necessarily drawn from the Business’s page, but instead are a small portion of business photos and a large pool drawn from personal pages/accounts that have mentioned (in a post) or tagged the business. This is terrible from the perspective of a business owner who can’t control what images are being pulled, they seem to rotate in search, so images may come up twice or never again. The photos for the most part are photos that run the gamut from bad selfies to foodie photos and everything in between. Nor is there a way to let Facebook know of the inappropriate photo (as of now).

See example of what can happen/inappropriate photo:

fb

At the moment there is no way to untag a business from a personal photo and Facebook doesn’t let you know even “who” posted the photo, so there is no way to even contact the person and remove the tag. A workaround (and this is not proven as it may or may not work, and even if it does work, the image is still tagged on mobile) is to take away your map listing box which also takes away your reviews. Whether this also takes away the ability to be found in local search remains to be seen, I am currently testing the options in a bunch of B&B pages. It appears if you do take the maps option out though, your listing won’t appear at all, even with the hotel tags.

As more changes roll out I’ll try to do a follow up post.

About Chef Forfeng

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
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