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Web Presence Management: Facebook Rolls Out Professional Services Directories

After extensive testing, Facebook has rolled out a professional services directory as a direct attempt to take traffic away from Google and Yelp. How does this affect your business?

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It can be exhausting trying to keep up with all the changes happening online, even for a company like mine, Optima Automotive, that focuses on web presence management. We’re constantly reviewing dozens of industry-leading blogs to stay on the cutting edge.

It’s like a bobsled team in the Winter Olympics. You’re hurtling down the track at breakneck speed, trying to stay ahead of what’s to come at the next corner. One false move and you’re behind the competition…or worse. The big difference between a bobsled track and web presence management is that the bobsled track has an end. There is no end to keeping up with what’s coming at us for search engine optimization, reputation management and social media management. So this month, I would like to share a major update Facebook has recently implemented that affects you and your business: the professional services directory.

Professional Services Directory

After extensive testing, Facebook has rolled out a professional services directory. This, in part, is a direct attempt to take traffic away from Google and Yelp. Facebook would rather you never leave their pages, so now, when people search for a service on Facebook, they’ll consider the following to match the search query with businesses that provide those products or services:

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  • Keywords – Just like with search engines, knowing what search terms the public actually uses to find the services you provide is key. The top four terms are: 1) auto body, 2) body shop, 3) autobody and 4) collision repair. The term “auto body” is searched nearly 10 times more often than “collision repair,” and “body shop” is a close second. Your business description on Facebook should contain these keywords, and it would be helpful to list your hometown and surrounding towns you get work from as well.
  • Reviews – Here we go again, reviews mean something…everywhere. You must not ignore this; it affects you in so many ways above and beyond just people seeing them. They have a direct impact on your website ranking potential with Google (likely Yahoo and Bing, too). And now your star rankings on Facebook, and the quantity of reviews you have, will also be playing a role in how well your Facebook page will rank when people search for a body shop in your area. One more thing to pay close attention to and promote: get people to leave you reviews online – at least, those who love your services! Cast a large net so you get reviews on multiple platforms. Most important at this stage are Google and Facebook, but don’t limit yourself to just those.
  • Content Frequency – Posting frequently shows that your business is active and alive. We post four times per week on our client accounts. Posting your own videos, like the ones we produce for our clients, is also something Facebook has indicated is important in determining what it will show on your followers’ newsfeeds.
  • Mobile Friendliness – Following suit with search engines, Facebook wants to support mobile friendliness of any links they’ll be promoting in a business professional services page. Your website must be mobile friendly, not just for Google, Yahoo and Bing but now for Facebook as well.
  • Check-ins – Facebook is pushing “check-ins,” and one way they’re doing that is by making check-ins a part of their search algorithms. You can have your front office person, who greets your customers, encourage them to “Like” you while they’re there, check in and then leave a review on the back end of a repair. You should train your staff to facilitate this.
  • Past Relationships – If a visitor has already “Liked” your Facebook page due to past service or through promoting your page to the community, this will serve you well if they search for what you provide at some point down the road. Statistics show that people forget where they’ve been for services in the past, or are encouraged to go to another shop by some outside forces. But if they’ve “Liked” you before and search, you stand a much better chance of showing up.

It’s expected that Facebook will also be creating a review/directory APP that will rival what Yelp has today.

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Setting Up Your Page

Using my own company Facebook page as an example, you can see “Services” on the left side. Click on that.

web-mgmt_service-listingWhen the “Services” page comes up, you can “Add a Service.” A window pops up, and you fill it out for each of the services you provide. Notice, in our example, the keyword use we’ve included. We also uploaded a photo to showcase this particular service.

It’s easy to do. So take advantage of the new business services directory today!

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