What The New Facebook Means For Local Marketers

They say the only constant is change, and in the case of Facebook’s changes over the past month, local marketers might get the edge over their larger counterparts.

It’s not so much about the number of likes anymore, but more the delivery of story-based content that is convincing enough to engage and motivate the consumer to — well, consume.

Peter Heffring, the president and chief executive officer of Expion, which empowers companies in the social media realm, recently wrote that smaller, local brands have higher user engagement rates than their large brand counterparts.

That’s good, because that increased engagement will now win out over the sheer volume of the number of people who simply like a brand.

This is a critical game changer for local marketers, who can base campaigns on a good story motivating users to try their products and then tell their friends.

It actually parallels bricks-and-mortar behavior – if you wander into a big box store and just look around, it’s good that you walked in, not so hot that you didn’t buy.

By contrast, walking into a smaller store and getting personalized service, sometimes from people you know, usually means you’ll be back and that you’ll spread the words to your friends.

The same thing happens online. User engagement and action motivates other users, especially friends, further driving what content you and they first see upon login.

Additionally, Heffring says the top stories’ functionality favors the smaller company by pushing it to the forefront of the user experience, but once it’s there, content must be compelling to engage the user.

And, says Heffring, when the new algorithm GraphRank really kicks in, users will automatically see the posts with which they and their user friends more commonly interact.

Since most of us are more likely to seek local first, this is a great platform for local marketers; they just need to enrich their content to keep users engaged. This is all designed to cut through the clutter thrown at us online each day.

Most consumers still buy based on brand trust and the new Facebook changes will give an edge to local marketers simply because when friends like something, users are much more apt to like it and buy it, as well.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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