How Businesses Can Use Facebook’s “Recommend This Place” to Gain Exposure and Likes

Businesses with physical locations have a new way to gain exposure in the news feed and get more users to Like their Pages through a new feature on Facebook Pages called “Recommend This Place”. Those that list a street address in the Page can potentially use this new feature to build their fan bases for free.

Recommend This Place appears in the right sidebar of Pages to users who live nearby that business. It allows users to write a short recommendation of the business which is then published to the news feed and shown to their friends when they visit the Page.

Here we’ll discuss how “Recommend This Place” works, why it’s beneficial to businesses and other organizations, and provide four strategies for securing recommendations through this feature of Facebook Pages.

The following is an excerpt from the Facebook Marketing Bible, the comprehensive guide to marketing your company, app, brand, or website using Facebook. The full version includes a deeper discussion of benefits and functionality, as well as three more strategies for securing recommendations that can drive Likes and news feed exposure.

Why It’s Important to Your Business

Recommendations made through this feature provide two core benefits to Pages:

  • News feed exposure – Helps a recommendation author’s friends discover your Page
  • Like Conversion Improvement – Displays a social endorsement to the author’s friends encouraging them to Like your Page.

Typically, the only free way to get news feed exposure to non-fans is by getting them to mention or link to your Page in one of their updates, photo tags, or comments, which is not very common. With Recommend This Place, you can gain free, compelling news feed exposure from an easy to publish, pre-populated stories generated through the feature.

Once users are on your Page, you typically must rely on the content of your default landing tab, be it your wall or a third-party application, to convince them to Like your Page. Depending on what the latest photos your Page was tagged in or the latest posts your or your fans have published to your wall, you might not be giving users the best impression. Recommendations appear on the Page, providing an endorsement to Like.

How It Works

Recommend This Place appears near the top of a Page’s right sidebar. Only users who list themselves as living in the same city or otherwise within roughly 12 miles of your business will see the Recommend This Place panel. It displays the instructions “Help you friends discover great places to visit by recommending [the name of your Page]” above an open text field. Users can then write a recommendation of your location, similar to a short Yelp review.

After being submitted, the recommendation appears as a rich feed story on the author’s wall and in the news feeds of their friends where others can Like or comment on it. It will also appear to the author of a recommendation’s friends when they visit the Facebook Page of the location in a section of the right sidebar called “Recommendations from Friends”.

Strategies for Attaining Recommendations

Geotargeted Page Updates

The best way to secure recommendations is by requesting them from users that live nearby via geotargeted Page updates.

To do this:

  1. Check to make sure your Page lists an address and displays the Recommend This Place panel.
  2. If not, add an address in the Basic Information tab of the Edit Page admin interface
  3. Go to your Page’s publisher and click the lock icon to bring up the targeting parameters
  4. First set your country, then the city of your business
  5. You can also include nearby cities that are within roughly 12 miles of your city.
  6. Write a simple, thankful call to action requesting users visit your Page and use Recommend This Place
  7. Publish and respond to any comments or questions with further instructions if necessary
  8. Repeat every few months

The more local cities you target with the update, the more respondents you’re likely to get. However, you risk confusing your fans if they receive the update but don’t have access to Recommend This Place on your Page.

Your call to action must be short and easy to read but explain where to find the feature. Depending on what voice best represents your business, you can also try:

  • An update with a thankful or appreciate tone such as “If you love Attest Retail, help more people discover us by visiting our Page and using the ‘Recommend This Place’feature on the right. Thanks!”
  • An update that references that you are specifically targeting locals, such as “Tell people why we’re your favorite Bay Area clothing shop by visiting our Page and using the ‘Recommend This Place’ feature on the right.”

The full version of this article including more strategies for getting users to recommend your Page can be found in the Facebook Marketing Bible.