Is Your Salon Mobile Ready For Facebook Nearby

Facebook Nearby for Salons. The take-away: If your salon doesn’t have a Facebook Page, get one. If you haven’t taken the time to update all of that annoying information in the About Section, take the time and get it done. The titans of tech are fighting over the mobile space and it’s time to position your salon to take advantage of it.

Facebook Nearby for SalonsFacebook revamped the Facebook Nearby tab of their mobile application. It may not sound like much but it could have a huge impact on how people find your salon in the not too distant future.

Prior to the update, the Nearby tab was dedicated to showing users where their Facebook friends had checked in. Good to know, but not really earth shaking as far as your salon was concerned. Sure it’s nice, but certainly not something to build your social marketing plan around.

After the revamp, Facebook is playing in a space that was previously dominated by Yelp! and Foursquare. If you’re waiting for the big “so what?”, Gigaom’s assessment of the Nearby tab lays it out nicely. In their article they noted that if Facebook can get its 600 million mobile users to think of it as a local search utility, look out.

That’s why you need to get your salon’s Facebook page set up and set up right. Facebook is following the money. And as we shift to relying more and more on smart phones and tablet devices, the money is in mobile.

Engadget, quoting Nielsen survey numbers reported that in 2012 Smartphones accounted for more than 50% of all phones in the United States. Facebook is counting on that trend to continue and is looking to capitalize on our ever increasing dependence on the handy little devices. They’re really just sticking their toe in the local search waters with the revamp of this app. Of course, when you’re the 800 pound gorilla in the corner, that still causes quite a ripple.

They didn’t come out with both barrels blazing when they released their updated app. It’s buried on the sidebar instead of on the initial screen. Expect that to change. Right now the general public probably isn’t aware of the change, much less aware of its potential impact on their daily habits. And as Jon Loomer points out, that may be by design. Maybe Facebook only wants its most loyal and observant users to test it out. And that actually makes some sense.

Ultimately Facebook is counting on their app becoming the everyday, goto app for local information. Sort of what the Yellow Pages used to be before the internet killed it off.

Facebook Nearby for SalonsAccording to Hubspot, Facebook users can now search for salons and other businesses their friends have liked, checked in, or rated as well as search for places by category. Users will also have the ability to connect to businesses directly within the Nearby tab on their smartphone by performing actions like Liking, checking in, calling, or getting directions.

Over the next few months, anticipate the social giant making a series of moves to “encourage” their users to try the new app. In the meantime, your salon needs to be ready to ride that wave, because like so many other things, this change will be gradual and if you wait until you notice it happening, you may be too late.

According to Jon Loomer, these are the changes you need to make now.

First of all, just be aware that Nearby is there. Check out your listing and make sure it’s accurate and displays your brand the way you want it to.
But you’ll also need to make sure of the following:
1.Confirm you set an address that Facebook can find
2.Confirm hours of operation are correct
3.Confirm business classification is accurate
4.Use an effective profile photo (as always)
5.Encourage Checkins and Recommendations

Whether Facebook’s plan for world domination comes to fruition or fizzles in the pan like so many other good ideas, one thing is clear. The small amount of effort required to set up a Facebook page for your salon is a small price to pay just in case they get it right. There are quite a few opinions on both sides as to how big of a deal this is. What do you think?

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