Facebook has introduced two new functions to their Pages. One will make it easier for Facebook members to write recommendations about their favorite establishments. The other will help fill in Facebook’s database of basic information on local businesses.
Both of these are designed to give users a more accurate and personal experience with local business Pages. But while the recommendation system is simple and intuitive, don’t rely on your customers to verify your database information through the Community Edits.
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Facebook members going to Pages (with Places functionality enabled) of local businesses nearby to them will see a new recommendation module on the right side. This will prompt them to write a sentence or two on what they like about the local business and set permissions to how they want it shared.
Once a recommendation is made, it will be shown to that user’s friends when they visit that Page. It will also appear in the news feed.
Privacy options allow the recommending user to limit who sees their entry to Friends, Friends of Friends or even customize it for only specific people or to exclude others. While this level of control is becoming more common for Facebook functions, people writing local recommendations usually do so for all to see.
Another new function is called Community Edits. Facebook members that go to a city’s Facebook Page will be prompted to edit the information about the top five businesses.
Facebook is looking for very basic information, such as address, phone number, website, etc. An embedded Bing-powered map appears showing the location of the business in question.
City pages can show all Places, not just the top five. There are also options to report the entry for being inaccurate and to check Bing for the missing information.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any incentive for everyday users to fill-in this information so if you own a business, you should check your information yourself for completeness.
Given the reliance on Bing for some of the details, you will want to check your Bing Business Portal information as well.
[Image: Man Alive!, Flickr]