Facebook recently launched a new feature called Professional Services which is a Yelp-like directory aimed at helping customers find the best local businesses that meet their needs.

This will soon be integrated into Facebook’s global search, easily accessible by your customers. So whether you have one or one-hundred locations, you can use Facebook Professional Services to get more customers and increase revenue.

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How Facebook Professional Services Works

Facebook Professional Services is a directory inside Facebook that allows anyone to search for businesses with the best ratings and reviews. Users do not have to login or even need a Facebook account to use this new feature.

While there are no specific guidelines as to how the Facebook algorithm determines which local businesses to show, it is likely that Facebook leverages their deep knowledge of individual preferences to customize results for users depending on:

  • The location of the business and the customer
  • Previous interactions between the customer and the business page
  • Whether someone connected to the customer has interacted with the business page
  • Matching keywords in the business page’s name, description and category
  • The number of ratings the business has received
  • The overall average star-rating of the business
  • How current the last review is for the business
  • The number of check-ins at the business

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What Does This Mean for Your Business?

As you know, top sites that allow consumers to leave ratings and reviews for businesses are very important to revenue. So much so that a Harvard study proved a one-star increase can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue.

Because of this, it is important that you take steps to optimize your Facebook business page(s) and leverage online reputation best practices to ensure your business gets found, and more importantly, gets chosen. Below are five tips to help you get started.

1. Choose the Correct Category and Subcategories

First, go to the Facebook Professional Services home page and search for keywords or categories that customers would use to find your business; see what categories and subcategories Facebook suggests in the drop-down under the search box; then, add those suggested options in your Page Info categories and subcategories, found under the About tab of your Facebook local business page.

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2. Completely Optimize Your Listing

The information in the Page Info section of your page is very important to how your business ranks in search results on Facebook Professional Services. The most important info seen in search results are your address, hours, short description, and phone number.

page-info

Aside from your Page Info, there are other aspects of your page that are very important in getting customers to find and choose your business.

A Facebook page missing a cover photo, profile photo, or recent activity is like walking up to a business that has the lights off and no sign of life inside. The odds of the customer walking into the business are slim to none. Avoid this very common pitfall of businesses online and make sure you add high quality images in all possible sections of your Facebook business page.

3. Activate Your Page’s Star-Ratings and Check-Ins

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you have activated your check-ins and star-ratings to appear on your page. In your Page Info section, select “edit” on your address and check the box that says “Show map and check-ins on the Page” under the map.

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4. Create a Call-to-Action Button

When customers click through from Facebook Professional Services to your local business page it is important that they have an easy way to contact you. Your regular contact info may be hard for some people to find, but if you have a Call-to-Action button on your page, you make it infinitely easier for customers to reach you.

Learn how to create your Call-to-Action button.

 

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5. Encourage Feedback and Check-Ins

Facebook doesn’t have any specific guidelines stating you cannot encourage or incentivize reviews from only happy customers, but it is safe to assume that Facebook’s position on keeping page activity authentic also applies to ratings and reviews.

Asking your customers for honest feedback keeps your reviews authentic, but also gives you valuable insight you can use to improve operations at your business and increase revenue. You can post print signage at your place of business, or provide hand-outs to your customers with the URL or QR code, directing them to your Facebook business page and the other business listings where customers leave ratings and reviews.

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Conclusion

Facebook Professional Services has the potential to become one of the main ways customers find your business. Luckily, there are many resources, like the tips above, to help ensure your business is ready to get found and chosen.

If you have any questions or simply just want someone to do everything for you, you’re in luck. Merchant Centric offers very affordable services to optimize, not only your Facebook listing, but also, your business listings on top sites like Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor and Foursquare. Online reputation management on these top sites is also available, along with many other services, aimed at helping you get more customers and increase revenue.

Contact us today: Call (818) 889-1688 or

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