Local business pages on Facebook are awaiting their verification badges, after the social media conglomerate announced they were rolling out from 6th October.
What this means is that any business page with a physical location can become verified. Along with the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are the first countries open to this, before Facebook expands to other markets.
The badges, which are grey ticks found next to the business’s name, work in a similar fashion to the verified shields that local businesses can obtain on Google Plus. The ticks should however differentiate from the blue verification ticks on various celebrity, sports teams and entertainment organisation pages.
Speaking to Marketing Land, Facebook Product Marketing Manager for Pages, Kirsten Bury, said it would make it easier to find “authentic accounts,” allowing people to know whether they are “communicating with the right Page”. Furthermore, verified locations will show up higher on the search list to differentiate from those with duplicate or multiple locations.
It seems to be part of a longer-term solution for Facebook to help smaller businesses and be part of their digital strategy. By first updating Pages for mobile, Facebook made it easier for customers to communicate with businesses by showing ‘call to action’ buttons such as Contact Us, Message or Call Now.
Facebook updated their Help Page and showed us that it can be done in 6 steps. Through a final stage phone call or uploading a business document online.
If your Facebook business page is run by an agency it has not addressed if there is an easier route to verifying a business that does not involve confirming through the location itself.
The network has not mentioned whether there is a bulk verification option for those who own or look after multiple businesses on Facebook. This could be seriously problematic for agencies, who could face a time-consuming task verifying locations one by one, communicating between each location and Facebook itself.
Overall, though, the benefits of having locations verified makes life easier for marketers. Ultimately, as locations become easier to find it becomes easier to interact with consumers who may have messages or reviews to be passed on and are genuinely interested in their services.
Watch this space!