Here's Why Facebook Is Suddenly Pushing Local Brand Pages

Photo: Ryan H

Facebook wants you to check out your local 7-Eleven. Or Dunkin doughnuts. Or Starbucks.Pages for specific locations have seen a major pickup in activity on the social network in recent months.

That’s apparently the result of a deliberate shift in the algorithms Facebook uses to determine what to show users, according to Rob Reed, CEO of Momentfeed, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based provider of location-based marketing services.

In the past, those algorithms have generally favoured the main brand page.

In other words, Facebook really wants you to see when your friends like the Starbucks down the street, as opposed to the Starbucks brand overall.

Facebook would not comment on whether it had changed is algorithm to favour local pages. But the evidence is dramatic. Data provided to Business Insider by Momentfeed show an unusual pattern in “likes” received by locations of Dunkin doughnuts and 7-Eleven.

At the beginning of the year, both companies saw almost no likes to their locations. Likes started rising sharply in March, followed by a dramatic drop, then another steady rise.

Joergen Aaboe, Momentfeed’s director of marketing, said the drop was likely a sign of Facebook’s “algorithm tweaks.”

Facebook Places, the social network’s location-based feature, has struggled to gain wide traction since it was introduced nearly two years ago. With the growth of smartphone usage, though, local advertising has soared in importance. And Facebook is desperate to show off its potential in mobile advertising.

For brands with multiple retail locations, this could mean a major shift in Facebook strategy. Instead of trying to accumulate likes for one master brand page, they’ll need to worry about hundreds or thousands of local pages.

Here’s the data:

Dunkin doughnuts likes via Momentfeed

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