Will Facebook Services Take Over Local Search?

Have you heard about Facebook Services? Is this another step toward their quest of local search domination? You may have even glanced at the landing page and thought, “Yeah, yeah, another search tool that takes me to a business’s Facebook Page when I click the link. Woohoo, it’s no different.”

Perhaps you need to give it a second, or even a third look. By creating Facebook Services, they are positioning their platform to be “THE” local source for consumers to find the products and services their friends like, use and review.
Facebook Services Directory

We all know, or should by now, that Facebook wants more and more of its users looking to them for all their entertainment and search needs. Let me start by explaining a little about Facebook Services.

The Basics of Facebook Services

At the end of last year, Facebook very quietly launched Facebook Services, a directory of local businesses with Facebook Pages. Consumers can use the directory to search for local services and businesses that meet their needs.

The directory displays this message, “Find local businesses with the best Facebook reviews and ratings” and has two boxes to complete:

  1. The service the consumer is looking for and,
  2. The “City, State” which defaults to the user’s location, but can be changed.

A quick click of the “Search” button provides a list of businesses for the selected service. Each entry displays the business name, rating, short description, address, and a partial review.

Users can “Like” the page, send a message, or interact with whichever “Call to Action” the page has set up, all from the results page. After the user selects the desired business from the results they will be taken to the Facebook page for that local business.

At this point, it’s not currently clear exactly how Facebook is ranking results, but it appears rankings are based on a business page’s number of likes, comments and followers, in addition to reviews and ratings.

How a Business Gets Listed in Facebook Services

The great news is it’s pretty simple to be listed in the directory if you already have a business page. In the “Page Info” section, ensure one of the two the categories you select is listed in the “Explore Other Services” section on the Facebook Services page.

Currently, Facebook Services is only available through a browser search and users don’t have to be logged into search the directory.

Additional Reasons to Get Listed in Facebook Services

For the pages with “Call to Action” setup, the selected  action is displayed in the top corner of the Facebook Services search results. If not, it defaults to “Message” if the user is logged into their Facebook account. This means setting up a “Call to Action” is an important step.

Business pages listed in Facebook Services have a special tab available to their page where they can list their individual services. It is unpublished until the page adds services and elects to publish the tab.

If you are a business without a Facebook presence, I hope you feel the urgency to take action today.

Whether or not Facebook continues with their Services directory, you can bet they’ll be competing with local search in bigger and better ways as they adjust and fine tune the tool. Hopefully, you will benefit from the additional opportunity to be seen.

Have you tried Facebook Services yet? Let me know what you think!

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