Digital Insights

How Facebook’s Place Tips Could Benefit Local SEO


Published: February 27, 2015

If your local business has been reeling from the loss of organic Facebook Page reach, you may have a chance of getting some of that audience back. Facebook recently introduced Place Tips, a new user opt-in feature that will provide added organic exposure for local businesses with real brick-and-mortar locations. Content will be drawn from your Facebook Page, and include user-generated comments and reviews.

What Exactly are Place Tips?

  • Place Tips appear at the top of the user’s News Feed in the form of a notification that will be generated whenever the user is in close proximity to an active Place Tips location.
  • When a notification is tapped, the user will be able to view a variety of content including images, upcoming events, and reviews and comments from friends.
  • Place Tips will be triggered only for Facebook users who have opted-in to Place Tips, have given Facebook permission to access their location information, and have an enabled iPhone app. Location tracking will be based on a combination of GPS, local Wi-Fi, and cell tower triangulation in addition to beacons strategically placed in a number of Facebook partner-businesses.

Are Place Tips Available in My Area?
Facebook Place Tips are currently being tested in the New York metropolitan area. According to a company spokesperson, Facebook wants to learn as much as possible from the New York pilot program before rolling Place Tips out to other cities. Assuming that Facebook users and participating businesses appreciate the added value of Place Tips, expect to see a full national rollout in the coming months.

How Can I Prepare My Business for Facebook Place Tips?
There is presently no set timetable for expanding the Place Tips program. While there are a number of recommended steps that you can take to prepare your business to profit from Place Tips, the good news is that they will benefit your social media marketing regardless of whether or not Facebook rolls out Place Tips to your area. With that in mind, here’s a rundown on what you can do now to be ready when Place Tips comes to your location.

Introducing Place Tips in News Feed from Facebook on Vimeo.

1. Optimize your Facebook Page – Be sure to keep it up to date with all of your important business details, especially location information. Content should be location-specific, and include high-quality, eye-appealing photos of your store or products.

2. Don’t skimp on creating quality post content – Facebook currently has almost 100,000 individual weighting factors in its News Feed ranking algorithm, but you can keep things simple by staying focused on creating content that attracts attention, encourages engagement, and invites sharing with friends and family.

3. Update regularly and consistently – You need fresh and relevant content to be a competitive player in the social media arena. Updated content helps maintain top-of-mind awareness with your current followers as well as increases your credibility with Facebook when Place Tips comes to your city.

4. Sponsor in-store events – These are a great way to connect with current fans and a valuable drawing card for Place Tips – posted Events is one of the categories targeted by the Place Tips app.

5. Encourage user-generated content – Inspire customer engagement and sharing with events and contests that promote their experience with your business. Remember that comments and content from real people is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of advertising available, and it’s basically yours for the asking.