Facebook is a local search engine: why do you need local pages
Prior to 2013, Facebook search had only returned results based on existing pages. There wasn't much logic in the algorithm other than the name of the person or page you're looking for.

As soon as Facebook launched its own Graph Search (in 2013), it was only a question of time before it became a big player among search engines.

But Facebook search was still limited as far as optimization was concerned. The results it returned focused on personalities, places/groups, events rather than a link that contained the answer to your query like Google.

So you couldn't target based on keywords quite yet, nor could you take advantage of a searcher's affinity. This means the only way to target was by targeting another page or product.

Since 2007 Facebook has been a solid directory site for local businesses to have their business page when the number of businesses listed on social media was only about 100 000. It allowed businesses to be in front of one of the fastest-growing social media networks in the world, but the discoverability of your business was limited to mutual connections and brand awareness.

It wasn't until 2014 when Facebook received a new and improved version of Places Directory that Local Business Search became a focal point for Facebook to compete with Yelp and FourSquare.
Why Facebook is so important for local businesses?

Now, when there is a Facebook search for a company that is near you, you'll get results that are similar to Local Pack on Google.
Traffic. Facebook has a large user base using their search engine. Every day, Facebook handles 1.5 billion searches against the 2 trillion posts in its index and over 600 million users visit business pages on the platform.
So, local businesses can be discovered using the search. If you want to improve your marketing strategy, focus on your business pages first of all — create local pages for every location.
Until recently, most multi-location brands didn't separate corporate ("main") and local pages on social media. There was a single account, and social posts and other activities were typically generated from this page. Today, all that has started to change — more and more brick-and-mortar enterprises are creating local pages.
Engagement. Now users demonstrate a preference for locally relevant pages vs. national or corporate pages in social networks. It was proven that the majority of brand engagement on Facebook takes place on local pages. Social media management platform SOCi compared Facebook corporate page activity with roughly 2500 local pages for the same brands. It reported that 72% of all consumer engagement and 66% of content impressions take place on local pages.
So, the fact that local pages are getting more engagement than corporate brand pages proves that local content will help you to grow your business, and thus make it more profitable.

In addition to controlling your business "visibility", creating pages can help you reach a higher ranking quicker even than your website will as Facebook pages have great SEO capabilities.
Brand protection. One more thing that confirms the necessity of claiming all the business locations on Facebook is that your brand may be compromised by anyone who wants to check-in inside your location.
What does it mean? If you don't have Facebook business pages (corporate and local), it will be possible to check-in and by specifying a place and naming it. So, the location may contain the false name and incorrect data. Moreover, if it wasn't you who created the page you would not have access to control the information thereon.

The process of reclaiming is not simple either. You'll have to contact Facebook and provide them with proof that you are the owner of the business the page is linked to.

By failing to claim the page, you can miss out on receiving a lot of user's reviews, lose loyal customers.
The recommendations are as follows:

  • Claim your locations submitting data to Facebook — missing local pages means smaller consumer reach.

  • Make Facebook local pages the part of your strategy. Generate content, promotions, events, stimulating user engagement. This will help you not only rank higher but will also encourage users to click.
For users, this is one of the guaranteed ways to contact a representative of the organization (using Messenger, for example) and get feedback. For business owners and marketers, this is the opportunity to stimulate sales, as well as to get the analytics for business development.
Facebook has caught up with typical search engines and started enrooting keywords in their algorithm and database. Combine this knowledge with the fact that 600 million users visit business pages, and Facebook alone has 1.5 billion searches every day. Optimization of locations demonstrates to be valuable in local business discoverability on the platform.
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