Welcome to Facebook Fridays! Fridays at noon I take 15 minutes to help you navigate the crazy wilderness of Facebook for your nonprofit.
Today I answered your question: How can my nonprofit use the Facebook Local app for marketing?
What is the Facebook Local App?
In November of last year, Facebook launched its standalone Events app as Facebook Local, touted as a new one-stop search engine to “browse all the cool things happening where you live or where you’re traveling to.”
Designed to be a competitor for Yelp and Foursquare, Facebook Local is a way to find out what’s happening nearby and what your friends are attending or interested in.
People use it to find out:
- Information about places
- Recommendations from Facebook friends
- Neat things happening around town
Why should nonprofits pay attention?
Nonprofits should pay attention to the Facebook Local app because of the most recent changes to the News Feed.
Remember Facebook’s new mission statement: “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
With this new emphasis on promoting meaningful interactions, public posts from Pages are being pushed down the News Feed.
Facebook does however have a stated goal to make local news and updates a priority. Read more about that here.
The advantage with the Facebook Local app is that local happenings are not buried in your News Feed and among all of your notifications.
How does Facebook Local work?
If you already have the Facebook app on your phone, Local will connect with it. Download it from the Android or Apple store.
Once it’s synced, it will know where you are, who your friends are, and what kinds of things you are typically interested in.
The app is divided into 3 sections
First Section: Home Screen
Here you will see a running list of events happening nearby that you may be interested in.
Local will show you events based on other events you have attended, what your friends are doing, and other things you have clicked on within Facebook.
Second Section: Map and Search Engine
This is where you can discover businesses and places near you – for example, search for coffee, Indian food, pizza, etc.
You can filter search results by relevance, popularity, distance, and rating.
Facebook Local does not have as many ratings like Yelp but I expect that to change as the app gains traction.
Third Section: Your Calendar
This is my favorite feature of the app. It contains all the events where you have expressed interest or RSVPed.
When you click on an event in the Local app, the details page includes all the same things you’d find on a Facebook events page, including the date and time of the event, the number of people who are going, and information about how and where to purchase tickets, if needed.
If you click the square button on the bottom right corner, you can add the event to your calendar.
How can nonprofits use this tool?
The number one way you can take advantage of Facebook’s new emphasis on local events is to create great local events and happenings!
When you create an event from your Facebook Page, it automatically syncs with the Facebook Local app. No need to enter it twice.
You can create ticketed or free events.
Make sure to add a great cover photo to the event page, choose a descriptive name, add the location, and be sure all relevant information is included.
Also, nonprofits should make sure that the location is set on their Facebook Page (where relevant/appropriate), and that their Page is up-to-date.
It does remain to be seen if businesses, nonprofits, and of course, individual Facebook users will use this app, but I think it has potential!
Facebook Local Cheat Sheet: I’m going to create a one page cheat sheet about Facebook Local – be sure that you head over to the Facebook Group and keep an eye out for it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediastorytelling/
Have you used Facebook to receive donations for your nonprofit? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
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