Facebook has long had “Places” functionality in place, allowing people to check-in to locations, review businesses, and search for businesses that are near to a user’s specific location. However, the social network has quietly launched (is testing) a new feature that helps users find reviewed and rated businesses in their city.
The site, which is available only through browser searching and not through the mobile app (for now), has all the categories you might come to expect – salons and spas, restaurants, child care, pet services, and photographers.
It isn’t yet clear whether or not the new Services feature will integrate with the existing Facebook Places feature, but my hypothesis is that it will; Facebook aims to create a unified user experience and this is a natural tie-in, especially for advertisers on the platform.
I tested Facebook Services both logged into my personal account, and logged out. The results were slightly different for me, as they seem to have been when Marketing Land tested the feature, as well. In a statement to Marketing Land, Facebook confirmed, “We’re in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they’re interested in.”
So what does this mean for photographers?
The first step is to make sure you have your ratings and reviews option on your page turned on. A lot of photographers who have a rogue client give a low rating once have turned their reviews off. This is definitely a time to reconsider re-implementing the feature. Keep in mind that studies have shown that having a couple of negative or lower reviews can actually be good for your brand. The imperfection makes you more relatable and it appears to be far more honest, especially to people who already suspect that too many good reviews is likely from spam.
While you’re in your settings, it’s a good time to brush up on some of your other company information, as well. Make sure that, where it makes sense, you have implemented any keywords from your keyword research. Google and other search engines index social media sites, so this is a great place to create another association with your target keywords and your brand.
Lastly, slowly reach out to past clients who have not yet left a review on your Facebook page and ask them to do so. I say “slowly” because it always looks suspicious when too many people leave too many reviews all at once. There is no reason that this part of your business can’t be something you do every once in awhile. It can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. Most people love knowing that they can really help you out by leaving an honest review. Remember, since it appears the new Services feature may be impacted to show reviews of friends, it is likely that when friends of your clients are looking for a photographer, your Page will be near the top of that list.