We’ve talked about the importance location marketing with Google Plus and  Yelp too.  Now Facebook is enhancing its location based information with its new “Nearby” feature and this will mean big opportunities for your small business. But you have to get in the game!Fscebook Nearby on Sociao Jumpstart

The new feature is built into Facebook’s mobile apps and allows people to rate and review businesses and services. When accessed, the “Nearby” feature will show a map of the local vicinity of the user and list nearby places that it feels will be of interest pulling from various data sources and other Facebook users. Tapping into these “places” will bring up Yelp like reviews and comments. This brings an opportunity to help you capture more customers.

Currently the Nearby feature is available to just a fraction of users, however, we understand that it will roll out to all Facebook mobile app users (That’s pretty much everybody) early in the New Year. With this in mind, here’s what you need to do now:

1)   Claim Your Place.

As with Google Places, your business likely already exists in the Facebook database, but you should make it your own by claiming it.

2)   You have a Facebook Page already – right

 Make sure you have a Facebook Page for your business. This actually should be #1 because every business (pretty much) needs a Facebook page. Need help? Sign up for Social Jumpstart’s Free Training. Easy!

3)   Merge Them Together – or at least get ready to

This feature is still in the works but you should move forward ASAP and merge you Facebook Page with Your Facebook Place. Note – if you have multiple locations hold off merging for now as Facebook is still working out the details for this situation.

4)   Get People to check In and Review

Just like Yelp – encourage customers to check in and provide reviews. The more activity the better your visibility on Facebook and the better your chance to capture new business.

The folks at Reach Local have out together a good overview and step by step guide for Facebook Nearby here so get you place – Nearby – now!