With the recent introduction of Facebook Nearby, a feature designed to help local consumers connect with businesses of all kinds, the social media giant has significantly upped its SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) ante, and its bid to take a greater share of the $100 billion local advertising market. These developments should give its SoLoMo competitors pause, and businesses should be on the alert.
With approximately 500M US users, Facebook has amassed far more location-based data than any other social or reviews network, thoroughly eclipsing competitors such as Yelp and Foursquare. That means that a consumer who uses Facebook Nearby will likely benefit from significantly more “social data” – the likes, check-ins, reviews, comments, photos and other consumer-generated content that drive social media.
But wait – since when is Facebook a consumer review site? Since now. And it will only become increasingly so, because Facebook wants to connect consumers with businesses (to generate advertising opportunities for itself), and consumers rely upon crowdsourced review information to make decisions. Consumers want more than just individual recommendations – they want averages, in the form of a five star rating, and they want reviews from their friends to be included.
Facebook Nearby is designed to help consumers connect with local businesses, and although it does not currently support car dealers, given the size of the automotive industry and related advertising opportunities there is a good chance it will soon.