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Facebook Locations: How to add multiple stores to a Facebook Page

by | May 25, 2016

Update: Problems with Facebook Locations? 5 reasons why your application was rejected

I love Facebook Locations. If you run a local or international business with more than one physical shop, you should love it as well and consider to implement it. Locations, previously available to large brands only under the name of Parent-Child Framework, is now available to anyone.

Facebook Locations helps potential clients to locate your shops, plus it does many other useful things! Locations adds 2 elements to your Facebook Page, a “Locations” tab and a “Nearby Locations” section, which provide addresses, opening times, phone numbers, directions and traffic, and virtually any other kind of information that a potential client may need to pass by and make a fat purchase. Isn’t that your ultimate goal? The best yet to come: It works on mobile.

Lots of businesses still do not pay enough attention to adding actionable contact information to their Facebook Pages. Multi-location brands that do pay attention, still find barriers when several addresses need to be added to their brand Page: That’s because a Facebook Page can list one address only at the time. Companies used to solve for it by adding a custom location tab, which did not make the job at all: Tabs created with third-party apps are not displayed on Facebook mobile.  Other companies used to create an individual Page for each store location, which in most cases is inconvenient and becomes time consuming as shops grow in number.

Helping people to discover where your shops are located is just fantastic, but Facebook Locations can do much more: It can help you to create a solid, well localized social presence and a responsive customer support. But that’s another story, let’s keep it for another episode.

 

How to activate Facebook Locations

Facebook Locations is now available to all common humans, but it needs to be activated first: Activate Locations

activate facebook locations 2

Ten minutes is how long I had to wait to get my application accepted. Whether yours is accepted or not, you should receive an email from Facebook. In case your application is successful, Locations will be available under Settings.

 

Add multiple locations to your Facebook Page

Before to start adding store locations to your Facebook Page, make sure to have all the information needed at hand, such as addresses, phone numbers, emails and opening hours. Done? Let’s start.

From a desktop computer, go to “Settings, Locations”. Click “Add a Location”: Facebook asks you whether you prefer to “Choose an existing Page”, meaning a Page that you already manage as Admin, or “Create a new Page”. In this example I will go for “Create a new Page”. Type in the information about your first store and press “Save”. Repeat the process to add more stores. At this point the “Locations” tab should be available on your Facebook Page, both on desktop and mobile: Visitors can use it to visualize your stores in a map, on desktop, or listed by proximity, on mobile.

Each store location is now associated to a new page, named Store Page, which uses the same name of its Main Page, plus a unique Local Descriptor as differentiator. Example, if McDonald’s Facebook Page is named McDonald’s Burgers, its Store Pages would be named something like McDonald’s Burgers (Piccadilly), McDonald’s Burgers (Covent Garden), and so on. Clients can decide to Like McDonald’s brand Page and/or any of its local Store Pages. By default, Store Pages also mirror the Main Page’s profile picture, cover photo and newsfeed content, which can also be customized on a Page by Page basis. You clearly understand where Facebook is trying to go: Locations seems to be designed to provide useful and actionable contact information about your stores, but also to help each of those stores to connect deeply with consumers, independently posting local content and building local customer support, both pre and post sale.

Marketers willing to go simple can opt to either show no content on their Store Pages, or to mirror the Main Page’s posts, which is kind of convenient. I’d suggest to go for the latter. No matter where people interact with a post of yours, engagement results will be summed up and shown on both your Main and Store Pages (Likes, Reactions, Comments, Shares). Consider that some people might not be fan of your brand Page, but still Like your local Store Page, eventually because one of your stores is located in their neighborhood. So why not taking advantage and showing them your brand’s stories even on local Pages.

It is an approach that simplifies and may help, especially considering that not all small & mid businesses are ready to manage multiple Store Pages as independent communication channels, creating stories capable to engage deeply with local consumers. Going so local requires time, human and financial resources, and not all companies are willing to fund these kind of projects. The cultural barrier clearly plays a huge role as well: Too many entrepreneurs and managers do not understand the power of digital marketing yet. Many of them simply do not have a real understanding of what Facebook marketing is all about and what it can offer, so they ignore the opportunity. On the other side, it is also true that in certain places, like Mauritius, where I do live, companies open to digital marketing do struggle recruiting skilled and experienced digital marketers.

 

Optimize Facebook Locations

Strange enough, but if you go back to “Settings, Locations” and click on the pencil icon next to each store entry, you will notice that the Edit Location’s pop up includes 2 new fields:

Local Descriptor. Customize the descriptor that appears, in brackets, next to each Store Page’s name. Simpler option is to use the name of the neighbourhood – or city – that houses your local shop.

Facebook Web Address. Be fast. Choose a unique web address for each of your stores. A Web Address can be used to direct people to a specific store’s Page, and can be added to your offline communication, eventually in combination with a Facebook Messenger Code. Point is, even if you do not plan to use Web Addresses anytime soon, claim yours asap because they are unique.

The Edit Location’s pop up also lets you decide whether a Store Page should display the “Nearby Locations” section. I like to display “Nearby Locations” on each Page, to help people understand that they are visiting a specific Store Page actually, and that more locations are available to shop.

Know you know that Facebook Locations provides the tools to help you connecting people to local stores. It is now up to you to understand how to implement it, depending on your specific objectives and resources.

 

Local Corner. LUX Café Mauritius

I do live in Mauritius island, so I tend to be more exposed to what local brands do, or don’t do. For some, examples are clearer than tons of words, so I made an effort to identify at least one local brand that may benefit from Facebook Locations. At first I thought at KFC Mauritius and McDonalds Mauritius: Both owns lots of shops, but none is implementing Locations. Finally, I landed on a more local brand, which is usually not bad at all in digital marketing. My intention is not to criticize, instead I’d like to highlight opportunities for improvement.

Those who travelled to Mauritius may have heard of a beautiful group of resorts named LUX Resorts & Hotels. What I do love about LUX is their attention to food. Eating is at the core of each decent vacation actually, isn’t it? Couple of months ago I visited a friend of mine at LUX Belle Mare Resort: By the pool I noticed a beautiful stand alone ice-cream shop named ICI, which gelato is just superb! LUX does not sell ice-cream like most hotels do. The group actually designed a stand alone brand, like if it was an independent store inside each of their resorts. Similarly, they designed a LUX Café, a stand alone concept for a high-end café and fine patisserie shop.

What’s smart about the move, is the ability to leverage their brand equity to expand beyond resorts and diversify the business. That’s actually what happened in 2015, with LUX opening 2 LUX Cafés outside their resorts’ boundaries. Sounds great to me! But let’s give a look at how Facebook was used in a such an important moment.

LUX Café currently owns one Facebook Page, which lists the address of their first store, located in Trianon. Lately, a second shop was opened at Bagatelle Mall. No page was created for this location, so as people started to check-in, Facebook automatically created an Unofficial Page, which is actually going wild, collecting tons of terrible client’s reviews, missing contact information and suggesting lots of competitor’s shops to visitors. But most importantly, it represents a communication channel open to the public, and to those who may desire to discredit the brand. Anyway can post on an Unofficial Page, and the brand has no ability to moderate what people post. Best you can do, is repost. Good luck! Build brand reputation may take tens of years. It is not the case to put your brand in any small or big danger situation like this.

SUGGESTIONS: Consider claiming Facebook Locations on LUX Café official Facebook Page. LUX Café will become a Main Page, and its local address (Trianon) will automatically be removed. At this point it is sufficient to add 2 locations, LUX Café (Trianon) and LUX Café (Bagatelle). 2 new Store Pages will be created, their picture, cover photo and content will mirror the brand page, on which you will focus at first. Each Store Page will allow local reviews and provide specific contact info and opening times, plus they will be accessible from mobile, allowing people to discover your closest shop and get directions! Direct communication chat for each shop can also be activated: Think about a client willing to ask to a specific shop how much it would cost to organize a birthday event there, or another willing to make a take-away order on its way back from work. Opportunities are clearly there, and they cost no money.

THE DAMAGE IS DONE: When people started to check-in at Bagatelle, no LUX Café was probably available as location. In these cases, Facebook creates an Unofficial Page so that it can keep tracking people’s locations. Unfortunately, when those pages represent a geographic location, it is not possible to delete them nor claim them. Lots of businesses are complaining, but Facebook did not listen so far. Result is that the Unofficial Page, and all its negatives, will remain visible to the public. In such cases, as long as a brand reacts quickly and drive people’s check-ins and Likes to the proper Store Page, the Unofficial one may loose visibility over time. Hopefully, Facebook will fix this soon.

 

Share your thoughts

Do you already use Facebook Locations? Yes? Post a comment, I would love to hear about any interesting story or insight you may have gathered along the way. No yet? If you need help setting things up, feel free to message me.

 

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