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Facebook groups recommendations feature is business goldmine

Looking for recommendations……

Quite possibly, the looking for recommendations feature is now the fastest growing theme in (specified) Facebook groups. And way more useful than many businesses may realise.

I bumped into Chris Hackley, Professor of Marketing at Royal Holloway, University of London, last week. Pleased I did too. How I got to know the good man is very much part of this short story.

Chris has been a member of the Banburyshire Info FB group I edit for quite a while now. You know, just doing his type of membership stuff.

Then he did something remarkable. At that stage I had no idea who he was.

He posted on the group

“This site’s a soap opera with branded content – I get absorbed in a thread when it all kicks off then someone mentions a useful pub or shop or day out I haven’t tried yet. Marketing genius”

Marketing genius is high praise from such an esteemed source. Understandably, glowing with his endorsement I knew I needed to meet him. He has since become a popular guest of mine for radio interviews, and film.

For the Banburyshire Song we combined both mediums.

We got talking. I told him I’ve been using the comment he posted. In fairness, he couldn’t exactly remember what he wrote, but ensured me it still stood true. His following comment was an interesting addition.

He told me he needed a plumber so went to the group to see what plumbers had been recommended. And then choose from there.

Must admit, it now makes perfect sense to go to a place where people discuss within their local community, their needs, wants, desires, and aspirations.

And people are doing it in their droves.

Chris clearly knows the value of local marketing, our popular Facebook community is exactly that — a marketplace FULL of hustle and bustle – a demand-driven model. One that grows around buyers, not sellers. 

We’re not unique enough to claim any leadership here though. This type of buyer marketing is all over Facebook.  And across the web. 

People in networked markets (Online communities) have long figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors.

Or another way of putting it. Welcome to the hunter becomes the prey – “broadcast shopping.”

In our local community, June Irani commented on her thread after asking a buying question – “Great pr for all these places!

Our example is this.

The Banburyshire Info fb community Is an exceptional example of Hyperlocal buyer intent  – with thousands of £’s worth of local business being offered EVERY week.  The buyer notifies the market of their intent to buy, and local sellers compete for the buyer’s purchase.

Today it is all about participating.

People have always gone to Facebook to connect with friends and family, but over time, it’s become more than that. It’s become a place to connect with neighbours, colleagues and people around the world who share common interests and experiences. Through these communities, and connections, people are learning, exploring and doing more with one another.

Traditionally, customers made purchasing decisions based on the advertisements that they saw or heard.

Today, it’s easier to connect with other customers via social media and make better purchasing decisions by learning about their experiences with a product or service and a particular business.

In communities, the public stops being spectators and start being participants. People are no longer just apart of the audience, they’re active contributors, ideal spaces for brands or specialists to build a reputation as trustworthy references.

I really like this marketplace.

A day never passes when I’m positively reminded of the reason why, I created the Banburyshire Info Facebook group.

I thank all those who ask for local business services, warn us of dangers, break news with us, give endless acts of kindness, and of course, those who share the beauty of our area through their images, poetry, video and song.

Business that don’t realise their markets are now networked person-to-person, who are getting smarter as a result, with deeply joined in conversation, are missing their best opportunity.

Ian Gentles

Banburyshire Info Editor

It is really simple and easy.

For those brands/organisations who want to take their first steps in reaching superhero status, Tel Ian Gentles on 07511 217 984. Or if you prefer, .

You want to be found on the web/facebook. We want to help you. We’ll help you build a compelling brand strategy, innovative marketing plan, engaging sales narrative, and develop a powerful digital footprint.

And when I say strategy I mean four things: the target segment, the strategic objectives, the positioning of your brand and the actual budget you have at your disposal.

Tel Ian on 07511 217 984. Or if you prefer, 

Another article on the subject.

The value of online communities

Looking for somewhere to Eat Out in the area?

Dining out in Banburyshire has never been so exciting, with amazing venues popping up year upon year. Renowned for producing incredibly talented chefs, the Banbury area is developing a reputation for its growing number of excellent foodie pubs.

Sink your teeth into this list of great country food pubs around Banbury

Sink your teeth into this list of great country food pubs around Banbury


The community and news site for Banbury and Banburyshire.

Whether you live, work or just love the Banbury area known as Banburyshire, our facebook group is for you.  You’ll find the site crammed full of useful and essential information such as; news, jobs, events, articles, food, local businesses and so much more.

Banburyshire Info provides a comprehensive resource for residents, businesses, and visitors to the Banburyshire area.

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