Surely you’ve seen the talk about business profiles on Google+ lately. In fact, our own profile for The Next Web was shut down (unsurprisingly) after Google+ clarified its terms of service to say that only people were allowed to have them. In short, if you want your business’ name to appear in search results on Google+, there’s only one way to do it for now.
Facebook has clearly seen the buzz, too. It should come as no surprise then that the site has rolled out a new Facebook for Business section which details some best practices and shows how Stories, Ads and Pages can all work to increase your business.
The design of the sub-site is well done, highlighting step-by-step methods for putting together your pages, running ads and detailing who will see what, depending on the interaction. Interestingly, Facebook is calling almost everything a “Sponsored Story” (PDF link), regardless of if it’s a checkin, a Like to a page or a share.
From our sources, stories is Facebook’s “way of saying conversations about your brand, going on in the Facebook universe”. This is in pretty sharp contrast to Facebook Stories, which still exists as a way to share “collective experiences” that people on the site have had together.
It’s worth noting, however, that our contact with Facebook has stated that Facebook wants to “inspire small businesses by seeing how other businesses have found success on Facebook by sharing their stories.” That clearly leads us to believe that Facebook Stories will start seeing a bit more business-oriented content, in the coming months.
In all, it’s a great addition for Facebook, and it’s timely at that. While Google is still ironing out exactly how business profiles will work on the Google+ service, Facebook has stepped up with a flashing sign to show people exactly how they can succeed using Facebook for Business.