When Facebook first launched business pages, it only offered a single type of page. This made life difficult for multi-location brands since they lacked an easy way to create, coordinate, and manage different location pages.
To fix this, Facebook created two distinct types of business pages: brand pages and local pages. This made things a lot easier since brand pages had the ability to create a local page for each of their locations, with control of the page shared between the brand and the location owner/manager. Since then, national brands have been quick to adopt the local pages format.
Unfortunately, many of these brands spend little time working on their local pages. Others shift responsibility for these pages almost completely to location owners/managers.
In either case, these brands are missing out on the importance of local Facebook pages.
Meanwhile, other brands recognize that local pages represent the key to their success on Facebook. What’s more, these brands know that for local pages to be effective, you need a coordinated strategy between your brand and your locations.
Why Local Facebook Pages Matter to National Brands
It’s extremely rare for a local page to have more fans than the brand page. And when you compare brand pages to local pages, brand pages tend to be more polished, more active, and more thoroughly optimized.
So it might surprise you to learn that local pages generate more engagement in aggregate than brand pages. And so long as they follow basic best practices, local pages also report much higher rates of engagement.
And here’s the cherry on top: Increased engagement on brand pages only leads to a modest increase in sales. But when engagement increases on local pages, individual locations see a noticeable uptick in customer activity.
Local business pages on Facebook have an important part to play in local SEO. To optimize your brand’s local search presence, each of your locations will need an optimized Facebook page.
By optimizing local pages, locations will benefit in two important ways.
First, they’ll gain a new entry in local search results. Local Facebook pages regularly appear on the first page of local search results for local branded searches, increasing the search visibility of your locations.
Second, they’ll receive a boost in rankings across local search results. Google pays close attention to local Facebook pages, and it pulls data from local pages to calculate local search rankings.
Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for reviewing and engaging with brands and local businesses. This makes it an invaluable tool for online reputation management providing a space to encourage reviews of your business. And it’s one of the best platforms for engaging directly with customers providing a venue for one-on-one conversations and exchanges.
The best part? Reputation management on Facebook can boost your reputation on other parts of the web — including Google.
When reviews appear on local Facebook pages, Google’s algorithm collects these reviews and adds them to the business’s Google My Business profile. By gaining new reviews and increasing your average rating on Facebook, you’re also boosting your reputation in Google search results.
Local business pages don’t just provide individual locations with valuable data about their audience. They also give brands a detailed look at how consumer preferences and behaviors change from one location to the next.
This way, individual locations can tailor their Facebook ads and content to their local audience. Meanwhile, brands can adjust their national campaigns to reflect local and regional variations in their target market.
How National Brands Should Handle Local Facebook Pages
Clearly, local pages have a lot to offer for national brands. But to make the most of your brand’s local pages, you’ll need the right strategy.
The finer details of this strategy will be different for every brand. However, brands with strong local pages on Facebook all share the following four qualities:
- They maintain a consistent brand image across their local page.
- Each of their local pages includes detailed, accurate information.
- They post locally relevant content to their local pages.
- Locations maintain active and responsive Facebook feeds.
By building your strategy around these four priorities, you’ll have a strong foundation for your local pages.
Brand-Level vs. Location-Level Control
In addition to the priorities outlined above, your strategy will need the right balance between brand-level and location-level control. This can be a particularly tricky area for brands. In fact, it’s one of the biggest pain points for multi-location Facebook marketing.
At Qiigo, we recommend that brands work closely with their locations to split the management of location pages. We also recommend that brands monitor local pages to ensure they contain detailed and accurate information, consistent with other local listings.
Meanwhile, each location controls the local content on its page and handles day-to-day page maintenance and engagement. After all, locations are in the best position to create local content and interact with local users.