Social Media SEO: Optimizing FacebookFacebook
By Enzo F. Cesario
We’ve previously discussed the Web’s tendency to take very good ideas and adapt them to techniques largely unrelated to their original intent. Nowhere is this more currently prevalent than in the realm of social media networking.
[Social Media] SM sites were intended to allow people to present a profile and keep in touch with interested parties. In essence a combination of email and Web page, they exploded in popularity with the sort of overnight success common to the Web. Of course users drive popularity, and where there are users, there is a captive audience — and businesses are always keen to adopt a potential audience.
Now Web writing and development resumes often need to include social media networking experience, and businesses have their own Facebook pages. The Web is ever sensitive to the principles of competition and advertisement, so in the wake of this upsurge in popularity and usage come the techniques and principles of social media SEO.
Search engines rate all Web sites based on their internal criteria, and this increasingly includes social media pages such as Facebook. With that in mind, let’s consider five key ways you can apply SEO techniques to Facebook in order to drive interest.
Method 1 — Respect Your Audience
We’ve covered the power of individuality on the Web. While it is true the Web offers exceptional degrees of anonymity and collective activity, at the end of the day every user has his/her own judgments to make, and will make those judgments known via clicks and comments. There are Web sites solely devoted to expounding on peoples’ bad experiences, such as the popular Not Always Right. Rest assured that if you stick to sales pitches and infomercials, your work will be forgotten or derided quite quickly.
Instead, focus on promoting interesting, non-sales material on your Facebook page. Comment on interesting developments, or explain a personal angle from one of your employees that helps people connect with your organization. Some of the most profitable sites on the Web don’t make any major sales pitches, so take advantage of the chance to have a conversation and keep people interested.
Method 2 — Identify and Use Your Keywords
We’ve talked about keywords before, and they remain relevant still. Search engines are able to provide more precise listings based on effective keyword usage, and good placement in a search return is often dependent on how your keywords relate to user searches.
Keyword usage requires research. It isn’t a matter of simply plugging in all the buzzwords in every awkward conversation — this is a good way to get sites to blacklist or penalize you in their rankings. Take the time to really examine what key roles your business works toward, and then research the keyword usage of related activities. Pick out those keywords that seem most relevant, and then work them into your site as naturally as you can.
However, keyword use doesn’t always require focusing on the content and writing portions. Your Facebook profile includes an ‘about’ section. Putting your core keywords here is a good idea but keep it concise; more than two or three keywords risks diluting the impact of your message.
Method 3 — Remember Reciprocity
The interesting thing about your Facebook page is that your company Web site doesn’t host it — Facebook does. This puts your content in two distinct places on the Web, potentially doubling the coverage you can receive during Web searches. Take advantage of that by remembering to provide links from each site to the other. Your company home page should be linked from your Facebook profile, and vice-versa. This will improve traffic to each site by bringing in visitors from the sister sites, and takes less than a minute to implement.
Method 4 — Harness Multiple Media
Broadband is common now. Perhaps it was still acceptable to lack significant video content in an online venture 10 or even 5 years ago, but modern broadband connections cost customers less than the first dialup connections, and can channel extraordinary amounts of video and audio.
Given the social nature of Facebook, it’s an appropriate page to include ‘related’ content to your venture that isn’t strictly relevant in the normal sense. Consider a site focused on pet care and related products. Rather than tying in a sales video, post the latest adorable kitten video from one of the many cat Web sites on the Internet. Tag it with keywords related to your focus by all means, but the key here is to give people additional reasons to visit your site and help drive your numbers.
Method 5 — Learn From the Best
A writer once commented that every good story has already been written — what remains is for the good writer to borrow judiciously. If there is one thing the Internet is good for, it is copious amounts of free information. Take a look at popular Facebook sites and take notes on what they’re doing. You do not exist in a bubble, but rather a network of ideas and interactions. Consider adopting different approaches that others are making work, or putting your spin on them for even more success. Creativity drives much of the Web, so feel free to experiment.
About the Author
Enzo F. Cesario is an online branding specialist and co-founder of Brandsplat, a digital content agency. Brandsplat creates blogs, articles, videos and social media in the “voice” of our client’s brand. It makes sites more findable and brands more recognizable. For the free Brandcasting Report go to www.BrandSplat.com or visit our blog at www.iBrandCasting.com.