If your business isn’t focused on optimizing your Facebook presence, you might be missing the boat when it comes to local search visibility. Surprising stats from a recent comScore, Neustar/Localeze and 15 Miles local search study show that people use Facebook for local business searches more than Mapquest, Bing, Apple Maps and Yelp, commonly thought of as local search strongholds.
I never use Facebook search, so that surprises me. But according to this study, Facebook is only outranked by Google Maps when it comes to tools used for local business searches—and that means if your business isn’t on Facebook (or isn’t doing much of value (a key phrase, btw) with a Facebook page), there’s a good chance you’re missing out on attracting prospective customers and building brand recognition in what’s becoming an increasingly robust channel for small businesses.
Facebook also wins when it comes to social networks used to find local business information. The site is used a whopping 92% of the time, followed by Google+ (23%), Twitter (21%), LinkedIn (17%) and MySpace (12%). And the fact that MySpace shows up—well, that just cracks me up. I still don’t get this, because I never use social nets to find business information, I go straight to The Google. And I can’t wait to hear what your habits are—at least when it comes to searching for local business information. The rest of your habits? I don’t need to know about them.
Here’s a look at some of the other study findings we found especially interesting:
- Local searches have increased 87% via mobile apps in the last two years.
- SHOCKER!!! Search sites have seen a 26% increase in visitors in the past 10 months.
- 35% of mobile phone app searchers use Google Maps to find local business info.
We recommend taking a look at the full report—it’s full of fascinating insights that you can use to help refine your local search marketing strategy. One key takeaway? Don’t ignore (or neglect) Facebook! Create a company page that contains all of your business contact info, and regularly post content, including rich media, to build your audience and keep your customers engaged. Keep in mind when it comes to your Facebook content marketing strategy that there are (apparently) lots of people who use Facebook as a search engine. Be sure you’re feeding that search engine the right kind of content. You know—the kind that will lead those searchers to you. There’s no doubt that, after seeing this survey, people use Facebook to find local businesses. The big question: will they see yours?