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August 24, 2010

Facebook Marketing – Facebook Page Optimisation

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This blog post will cover what social media optimisation is and how to optimise a Facebook Page both for search engines and user engagement. Hope it will be an eye opener for you.

Overview of Social Media Optimisation (SMO)

Social media has been growing at an amazing pace and Bruce Clay has been looking into how we can get greater traction with our social media assets by attempting to increase the search engine visibility of our social media pages as well as increasing user engagement through Social Media Optimisation (SMO).

Facebook Page optimisation has been of particular interest, due to the increasing popularity of Facebook.

Facebook Pages are excellent tools which can be used to increase brand visibility and engage followers through the use of some simple strategies and techniques

So what exactly is Social Media Optimisation and how can it be applied to Facebook?

For those still baffled between social media optimisation (hence Facebook Page optimisation) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) here is a well cited quote from Rohit Bhargava, the Vice President for Interactive Marketing with Ogilvy Public Relations described the concept of social media optimisation as a technique in which to

“  ..implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs. “

What this means is that compared to SMM, which includes paid Facebook Ads and other methods that externally market your social media sites, SMO is about improving the components that lies internally within your social media accounts.

By optimising the components such as your profile ‘Info’ fields,  your wall status updates, the notes you create, the custom tabs you can develop with FBML (more information on that further on) you can easily optimise your Facebook Pages..

Facebook page optimisation has generally two main objectives:

1. To optimise for search engines

Optimising for the search engines specifically involves improving all facets of a Facebook Page, so that it will have a better rankings in search engines those indexes and displays search results on Facebook pages.  Examples include optimising keywords for the Facebook Profile Tab and wall status updates.

2. To optimise for user engagement

There is a saying that ‘No man is an island’. This is perfectly apt for a Facebook Page. We don’t only want people to find your Facebook Page, but also to share content with you and spread the word about your wonderful page.  Instead of actively marketing the Facebook Page externally, ensure that your Facebook Page is optimal for encouraging traffic to your main website and other social media assets such as Twitter, YouTube and your blog.

Tips on how to optimise a Facebook Page for search engines

Before we go into how to optimise for a Facebook Page for search engines, we must ask ourselves “Which parts of a Facebook Page exactly does a search engine index and display on their search results?”

An analysis was conducted by Bruce Clay using Google Search as it is the dominant search engine in Australia, and in many other countries. After a bit more digging by our team we found that using a simple Google search query to discover what content from Facebook Page were displayed in the search engine results pages. However, we have empirical evidence to suggest that the following sections of the Facebook Page is being indexed and displayed.  This is interesting knowing the body of the Facebook pages are empty with Javascript disabled.

The findings were that a majority of Facebook pages are not indexable by Google due to privacy restrictions, but all public pages are getting crawled and indexed like any other pages on the web. The different tabs are also getting indexed with their relevant URLs, (even though these don’t look very sexy). Note that even user comments get indexed.

We received a report from the genius team over at Searchengineland.com earlier this year which indicated that Google real-time search is now including Facebook Pages as part of its search results.

Examples of different parts of a Facebook Page Google can display

Google indexes and displays the title of a notes page created in the Notes application

Google indexes and displays wall status update

Google indexes and displays a link that is posted on the wall

Google indexes and displays comments made on wall post updates

Google indexes and displays Facebook video titles in the universal search


Google indexes and displays the title and also the description of the video

Summary of how to optimise for a Facebook Page

  • Always add unique content to your websites, whether it is a wall status update, or a
  • When sending out wall status updates, be sure to include primary keywords relevant to the update
  • Ensure you update your profile description and information, including the short blurb, with keyword rich, while at the same time maintaining relevance and appropriateness
  • When creating notes with the Note application, make sure you optimise the title of the note page with primary keywords.
  • Encourage users to post comments as they can capture greater exposure for your Facebook Page on Google search results.
  • Optimise your titles and descriptions for your videos and photos
  • In general, always think of keywords when you are adding content to any pages!

Tips on how to optimise a Facebook Page for user engagement

Update the ‘Info>Detailed Info’ fields to include links to your websites and other social media assets, similar to what Sony does below. They included links to not only their social media sites but to also other Sony websites.  This will encourage cross-reference traffic between all your websites.

Use Facebook Markup Language (FBML) to create custom tabs on which users can land on. The custom landing tab can be used to promote your Facebook Page, your website, other social media sites you own or just bring to attention a particular piece of information to the visitor. You can place any type of content on a custom tab, be it a link to your homepage, a YouTube video, or a quick survey for your visitors.  An example below is the Sony custom tab called ‘make.believe’.

Facebook has announced that on the 23rd of August 2010, custom tabs for Facebook Pages will be limited to a width of 520 pixels. You will be able to preview your custom tabs before publishing it, so please remember to modify your custom tabs for a greater user experience.

References

Facebook: Profile and Page Roadmap Update: http://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/399

Technical discussion on FBML: http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/FBML

Static FBML Application Facebook Page: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/fbml/

You can create custom FBML boxes on the sidewall to promote your Facebook Page or any of your other websites.

The profile pictures can be more than just the logo of your brand! Maximise the use of your Facebook profile image size and include a call to action or a promotional feature in addition to your logo. The largest official size is 180×540 pixels; however there has been an instance where it was actually 200 x 200.

Both examples are displayed in the following banners taken from some of the largest global brands in the world.

Wrap-up of the post

We’ve gone through a quick definition of what social media optimisation is and covered some tips on how to optimise your Facebook Page for search engines (Using Google as the main example) and then delved into optimising for user engagement.

We hope that this post has helped you become a better social media optimiser. We believe that social media optimisation is complimentary to any search engine optimisation work and should be considered as part of your Internet marketing strategy. Any comments, success or failures, feel free to comment down below. We promise to be nice.

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5 responses to “Facebook Marketing – Facebook Page Optimisation”

  1. Carbonite Australia writes:

    Great update guys. We are looking at ways to make better use of our Facebook page. Some of this sounds a little technical but the key word advice is very straight forward. Will be following you on twitter to keep up to date with your work.

  2. Aaron writes:

    I’m so into social media and FBML right now! Thanks for the post! lots of good info. ive been browsing this site a lot because it has a ton of great stuff on it, anybody into social media should check it out. http://www.facebook.com/fanpagefactory

    Thanks! enjoy!
    Aaron

  3. Andy @ FirstFound writes:

    It’s interesting that you touch on optimising a facebook page. We’re having trouble getting ours listed, even under the company name.

  4. Dzie? Mamy writes:

    Great job with the blog, I’ve been stopping by here for quite some time, just wanted to let you know!

  5. Facebook Marketing writes:

    Facebook marketing is one of the most under-utilised channels for both SMEs and big brands. Tactics and strategies like those presented above are a great starting point to take advantage of Facebook for business purposes

    Thanks for the info



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