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Facebook's Nearby will do more for Dealers than Groupon's

In December, Facebook refined a feature called "Nearby" on iPhones and Android devices. Coincidentally, Groupon launched a feature with the same name for iPhones, Androids and iPads. Of the two, Nearby for Facebook is going to have more impact for auto dealers.

Consumers use Nearby to search for restaurants, bars, or other activities that are in the vicinity of their current location. Previously the Nearby feature just let you view all these businesses in a single list, mixed together. Users could see basic info, Likes and posts for each business.  Now you can see that same information, but you can search by category, and even sub-categories, so not just searching for a restaurant, but an Italian restaurant.  Groupon’s Nearby feature is not about providing you information on the local business, but providing you deals from the area businesses.  In that sense, you would think Groupon has more value to consumers local to the area they are searching, whereas Facebook’s nearby feature would appeal to those coming from out of the area as well.

Facebook’s Nearby also lets users rate the business – so posting reviews for a dealership, and having other potential customers see ratings of your dealership, has just gotten that more noticeable.

One key item to note is that for Facebook’s Nearby feature, they provide more in depth information for businesses that have Facebook pages, so another good reason to keep yours up to date.  What else can dealers do with this?  Consumers could use Nearby to search for service or Oil change offers.  Verify you are listed in the all the categories that consumers could search for you.  Facebook offers subcategories such as: auto body shop , auto repair, or Oil Lube & Filter Service.  You can find these under the Edit Page link at the top of your page.  From there you will be able to select Update Info.  The Update Info page allows you to select a category for your business, and then below that you can add sub-categories.

Facebook is sorting listings based on several factors, one of which is your reviews, so just like you ask for reviews for Google and Yelp, start asking for reviews on Facebook too. Currently Automotive is not a default category in Nearby, so users would need to type in that category to see you as a dealer.  Along with that, ratings are not shown on the list of search results like they are for the default categories such as restaurants (see left image), but when you click on the dealership name, what is shown is all the recommendations for your dealership (right image). Having no reviews or recommendations will leave you a bare listing that is not likely to entice consumers to shop with you.

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Tags: Facebook, Groupon, Media, Nearby, Social

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Comment by Brent Albrecht on January 10, 2013 at 9:07am

Tom, I haven't looked at it on the Android yet to test, so i will grab one on the office and check it out.  Thanks

Comment by Tom Gorham on January 6, 2013 at 9:13am

Hi Brnet, thanks for the tip.  I think I found the app for android and it's called NearbyMe.  Is that correct?  Anyway, it is awesome.  This is an important marketing tool.

Comment by Brent Albrecht on January 4, 2013 at 12:15pm

glad to help :-)

Comment by Paul Schnell on January 4, 2013 at 12:12pm

Excellent tip on something we were missing the boat on.  Until now that is.  Thanks Brent!

Comment by Cathy Nesbit on January 4, 2013 at 8:18am

Thanks!

Comment by David Sharp on January 3, 2013 at 7:21pm
Great information, thanks for the heads up.

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