Imagine a “store finder” on a Website that allows you to see if your friends have checked in to a particular location. Or an online Yellow Pages that allows you to see reviews or comments your friends have posted in addition to seeing basic information such as location and phone number.
Facebook did more than imagine it… they created it. They launched a new Parent-Child Page management system for businesses and their local branches called “locations.”
Before “locations,” there was a third-party tool called Hearsay Social that was launched to address the corporate/local problem. Since then, the company has worked with Facebook to create a native Parent-Child Page management system, complete with API’s and a basic graphic user interface. The limited private beta program’s first public facing component is now live, using The Regal Entertainment Group as the first example.
What does Locations mean for marketers?
A business can display an interactive map, powered by Bing, on its corporate pages that allows Facebook users to find the nearest locations and also to navigate to the corporation’s local branch pages. Facebook users are able to search any address to pull up nearby locations represented by child pages and the faces of friends who’ve checked in there before. The purpose of “locations” is to hopefully drive more likes and foot traffic to their local branches and has the capability to potentially replace the “store finder” tab application that is found on most corporate websites. The child pages also features a link back to the parent page allowing for cross-page promotion.
The new Parent-Child Page management system will allow corporations to easily manage their hierarchy of pages without having to add administrators to every page, install applications, or have to change settings simultaneously. The new app will allow for a simple way to coordinate marketing campaigns like offering coupons on the corporate page. “Locations” allows users to stay on Facebook rather than to leave the site in order to use a store finder on a client’s website. Once access to the Parent-Child system and locations is rolled out, it could increase Facebook’s utility as a Yellow Pages but with social recommendations. “Locations” has the ability to drastically change the ways in which corporations and their clients interact with one another allowing for more growth and potential.