An often overlooked detail
While it may seem like a useless detail, several social networks and location based networks now feature hours of operation for businesses in an effort to connect consumers with products and services through their mobile phones. Retailers, restaurants and general sales are an obvious target for this service, but even service providers do well for themselves to imply when they are (and are not) available, especially for those who work late.
Location based services Foursquare and Google Places rely on proximity to tell consumers what is open near them, so it is primarily used for restaurants and retail, but service providers like lawyers should also add their business hours to as many networks as possible in the event services are needed late at night and a consumer is using their phone to seek services, or Realtors should add business hours in case a consumer calls a sign, is ignored, and wants an agent to open a home for them.
Foursquare just recently added the option for merchants to add their hours to their location listing, and any business can add business hours to their Google Places listing which offers mobile users products and services that are open near them based on a filtered search for “what’s open now,” just like Foursquare.
There is also an iPhone app called “Open Now” that performs a similar function.
An easily overlooked detail
With the launch of Facebook Timeline features for all Facebook Pages, business hours have been given a place of prominence on all pages, as seen below:
When setting up or refining a Facebook Page, it may seem like a minute detail that is not necessary, but the placement of the business hours implies to AGBeat that Facebook Places may ultimately launch an “open now” feature as well, down the road.
It is just one more way consumers may connect with any type of business, so featuring your company’s business hours, no matter the type of company, can be a tremendous help for mobile users in search of products or services.