Facebook is giving local business directory and review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List some competition. The social networking platform now has a Professional Services search site (www.facebook.com/services) that allows users to search for various types of professional service providers in their local areas. Looking for a local plumber? How about a nail salon, a photographer, a lawyer, or a plastic surgeon? With Facebook’s new local search site, you can now find out which businesses near you have the top ratings on the social media platform.
Search Engine Land was the first to report on Facebook local business search feature (which it did on Dec. 14) after receiving a tip from the website of Acodez IT Solutions, a company based in India. Search Engine Land said the feature has not yet been announced by Facebook and is currently only available on desktops. TechCrunch stated that Facebook’s venture into local business search appears to be a natural next step for the social networking site, especially because it has more than 50 million active business pages. The tech news website also noted that the move follows similar actions by Amazon and Google, though these companies specifically targeted the home services sector.
What Does a Facebook Professional Services Search Look Like?
On the Facebook Professional Services page, you can type your exact query into two search boxes (one for business type and one for location), or you can browse through categories such as Automotive, Home Improvement, Financial Services, Medical & Health, and more. While the site’s categories list more than 80 types of businesses, there are still many other types that can be found through the search boxes. The Professional Services page automatically provides you with results for the city you are in, unless you specify a different city.
Pulling information from business’ Facebook profiles, the search results include informational snapshots with details such as the business’ name, phone number, hours of operation, street address, star rating, and even reviews. The top of the search results page also includes a background photo of the searched city.
Here’s a glimpse at search results that come up for divorce and family lawyers in Los Angeles, CA:
What Does Facebook Professional Services Search Means for Your Service Business?
As a service provider, Facebook’s Professional Services site now provides yet another way for people in your local community to find your business online, which could help you attract more customers. It also creates yet another place where you will need to improve your online visibility.
If you want to get the most leverage out of Facebook’s new local business search feature, you will need to dedicate some time and effort into your company’s Facebook business page. Make sure you provide thorough information about your business (don’t leave out key information such as your business hours or company description). Also, work toward generating more page likes, and let your current customers know that they can rate your business and leave reviews on Facebook. You may have the happiest customers, but no one will know if you don’t get them to share their experiences.
It will be interesting to see what Facebook’s next steps will be with its Professional Services site. We’ll be keeping an eye on how this new search feature develops!
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