Instagram users might notice a change in the list of familiar places when tagging “selfies” from their accounts. Recently, the social network began testing a migration away from the Foursquare API toward their parent company, Facebook’s, Places directory. Instagram has been using the robust location data from the Foursquare API for the past three years, with some users noting that the switch has resulted in limited information for popular places that were previously available.
It appears Facebook Places still suffers from some of the problems Foursquare has already surpassed such as duplicate listings for popular places and inadequate information for lesser known destinations.
We are obsessed with these types of data quality issues at Where 2 Get It. Most importantly, we are interested in the implications of the transition for business owners. You’ll want to make certain your business locations are not missing out on word-of-mouth opportunities via Instagram due to poor data quality. Below are a few tips on how to make sure your business will not lose any social sharing opportunities:
1. Make sure your Business Pages have accurate NAP
NAP (your business’ Name, Address, and Phone number) should be accurate and up to date across all search platforms. Facebook–and other places like Yelp, Google Maps, and Foursquare–should have the same NAP as it appears on your local listing. Bad or inaccurate NAP can disrupt the path to purchase and result in lost sales.
2. Set page category to “Local Business” to allow for check-ins
When creating or claiming a page on Facebook make sure to select “Local Business or Place” so that users can tag your business and location when checking-in. We don’t recommend selecting “Brand or Product” when setting your Facebook page, especially if you have brick and mortar locations: You should claim a “Local Business” page for each location to allow the greatest accuracy of check-ins by users.
3. Clean-up duplicate entries
Merging duplicate pages on Facebook will help minimize the confusion from showing users multiple page options for the same location. This also keeps “likes” and check-ins in the same place.
If you have not already taken control of your business on a local level through Facebook – this migration might be the perfect opportunity. Check out our Local Search Suite to find out how we manage claiming and syndication for your business. Data quality is important to us so we can help you make sure your business is not one of many missing popular places in Facebook’s data set.