Like anything new in this world, the best way to get stuck into something is to play around with it. That is what I’ve attempted to do with the recently rebranded ‘Facebook Events’ app, now suitably named – Facebook Local. Facebook has always had one huge advantage over its competitors: it is where people plan their events. Below is my 7 days of deciphering if they have finally utilised this USP in amongst my ramblings of a madman… enjoy!
- Just downloaded the App. What’s this all about then? Ok, so it has a neat layout ranging from events nearby that my friends are interested in attending, local restaurants, cafes, attractions, drinks, theatres and apparently trending nearby me is a ‘Free Ghost Tour’. No thanks, I scare easily. Although one thousand people are interested in it – they can’t be wrong surely?
- I take a brief look at the music events section later on. As the occasional DJ, I have lots of friends in that industry. Instantly I see all events I am already invited to on Facebook as well as gigs and events suited to my Techno tastes! See screenshot below. This would be great for promoters and nightclubs alike. Get in early and maximise on those hard to reach capacities you strive for!
- This seems to be a worthwhile App for businesses to take advantage of so far in terms of events. It is a useful tool, but perhaps it is slightly late to the party? With Google dominating this field it may be tough to break that Google dependency.
- Ok, it’s the weekend and I have a fanciful feeling for some coffee. It’s been snowing so I’ll check if anything is actually open nearby in the ‘cafes’ section. You can do that on Facebook Local. Easy to find filters at the top to hone in on what best suits your requirements. I should be a salesman for Facebook really shouldn’t I?
- Bean and Hop it is… Wait, where is it? Oh, there it is, #1 on the map. Might be good to implement a ‘directions’ element on here?
- After my trip to Bean and Hop, I decide I want another coffee (two in one day? Nutcase). Let’s see what’s about again. Belle Amie looks good. According to the reviews, it’s 0.1 behind Bean and Hop – let’s go there.
- This star/ratings based system is really good! The top results are the best-reviewed pages on Facebook. If you are a business, this app will be great for drumming up new customers. I went to two coffee shops I’d never been to in two hours. It worked on me.
- Well, I decided that I needed a nice, refreshing, alcoholic beverage this evening in Wimbledon. I knew where I was heading to already – Wetherspoons. It’s cheap. I thought I’d try out Facebook Local anyway to see what was about and if bars are capitalising on this app yet. Short answer – not really, or perhaps this is a case of – not yet. Facebook Local is by no means popular in its early age and an early adopter of this medium, in any industry, could gain an advantage over the late bloomers.
- I’m hungover, leave me alone.
- I didn’t get to do much playing around with the events part of the app over the weekend (because of my hangover) and as I have nothing planned today, I’ll get stuck into that.
- I want to do something on Friday, so I just click on that day and it comes up with suggestions of what to do based on your interests and sections them out into categories.
- It takes you to the Facebook event automatically when you click on something that interests you. It syncs with the calendar (below) on your phone as well, awesome. Hold the flipping phone… British Pie Week! 25% off? Result!
- This is where, I believe, it differs from the other ‘mapplications’ out there – the ability to plan ahead and get all the information you need instantly, saved to your phone. The Pie event, for instance, was combining the power of a ‘mapplication’ and an engaging title to promote their offer to get people visiting them in store. That is an example of compelling and powerful marketing.
- Today, I want some guidance and for that, I head to the ‘Guides’ section.
- Do I get the feeling that it is trying to be the Apple Music of events, perhaps? It will suggest relatable activities or events close by. I especially like the idea of having networking placed in its own category. This would be very helpful for businesses and freelancers to get going with meeting potential clients because, as we all know, networking is key… Pies are also key.
- This section, I believe, could be another real selling point of the app in the future. Users want something to do and businesses want you to consume, buy or attend their events. It could work perhaps, in a similar way that SEM / SEO does on Google? A place where businesses of a similar character jostle their way into the limelight.
- Ok, I’m done using Facebook Local like I would an everyday tool on my mobile, so I’ll answer the question everyone wants to know –
Is it worth getting?
- I think so, yes, it is certainly handy to have. I think it has the potential to rival Google Maps, as Facebook already has a wealth of information about a lot of businesses. In particular, It is a great step for Facebook to expand on the data it has accumulated over the years and I believe this could be a great tool for businesses and users alike. So if you’re a business that counts on in-store visits, this is the moment to get on Facebook Local – Adopt it early and learn how to maximise its capabilities.