Nearby, a new tool on Facebook, allows mobile users to find brands based on location.

Marketers have long known that Facebook is an excellent platform to generate brand awareness, as it boasts the most users of any social networking platform, but the network’s new Nearby tool may further social media marketing efforts on the site.

On December 17, Facebook announced that Nearby has been updated for iOS and Android Apps, allowing mobile users to discover restaurants, retailers and other local hangouts that are liked by friends. Nearby allows Facebook users to check-in, rate and recommend cool spots to their Facebook friends, which positions these brands in front of friends, family and acquaintances.

Content marketers should take heed of this new update, as it may allow them to target local audiences through viral sharing. As smartphones and tablets become more common among consumers, marketers should ensure that brand Pages are searchable, likeable and accurate so that they can help drive customers to brick-and-mortar locations based on results from Nearby. Generating original, custom content for brand Pages is as important as ever, thanks to the new tool.

Brafton recently reported that marketers wanting to foster deep connections with consumers should turn to Facebook, rather than Twitter, as research has revealed that Facebook’s interactive and relationship-driven nature has led it to be a more popular route for connecting with real-life friends. Facebook creates stronger ties and more trusted connections. If marketers strive to reveal their offerings through recommendation on tools like Nearby, they may see real-life customers as a direct result of their content marketing campaigns.

Emma Siemasko is a former member of Brafton's editorial team. Emma has experience with blogging, travel writing, industry news, SEO and content marketing. She used to live in South Korea, where she mastered the art of using metal chopsticks.