As Facebook launches more features and becomes a mobile-centric platform, it’s time to make sure your business is Facebook optimised.
Nearby Places is a current feature that allows users to search for local businesses, such as restaurants and shops, based on the places their friends have recommended, rated or checked into. It is important to ensure all your Page information is up to date and encourage customers to check in, as well as rate, review, like and share will optimise your presence.
When people search via their mobile, the volume of interactions increases your chances of coming up in Facebook’s search results.
Where the Nearby Places feature is going to become more critical is with the launch of Facebook’s Graph Search. Graph Search is available to people using Facebook in English, and you can apply to go on the waiting list.
This is a major move into Facebook taking on the search industry. Users can search their social graph, the people they are connected to as friends or friends of friends to get recommendations.
Cities my family visited
Restaurants my friends visited in London
Music my friends like
The Graph Search feature also acts like Pinterest, with Photos I liked…
Optimising your business for Graph Search is important:
- Ensure your Facebook page has the correct category and proper contact information
- You can select more than one category and pick a “local business or place” along with others
- The category list has sub-sets, such as shopping/retail and restaurants /café, if you don’t select the correct categories, you wont come up when someone searches by keyword.
Content is king on Facebook, as it has become everywhere on the web and mobile devices. Facebook have indicated they will continue to release News Feed search functionality.
From Facebook’s Business News: “The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. Ideally, we want News Feed to show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.”
Content will be ranked by order of quality and high engagement. Google watch out!
Business News continues:“This is no small technical feat: every time someone visits News Feed there are on average 1500 potential stories from friends, people they follow and Pages for them to see, and most people don’t have enough time to see them all. These stories include everything from wedding photos posted by a best friend, to an acquaintance checking in to a restaurant.
“With so many stories, there is a good chance people would miss something they wanted to see if we displayed a continuous, unranked stream of information.
“Our ranking isn’t perfect, but in our tests, when we stop ranking and instead show posts in chronological order, the number of stories people read and the likes and comments they make decrease.”
Quality of content that is engaging has never been more important if you want to get seen on Facebook.
Learn how you can optimise for sharing on Facebook:
1. Display both the Like and Share buttons on your website
2. Use images that are at least 1200×630 pixels to generate great previews of your content on Facebook
3. Use proper Open Graph tags to drive distribution
4. Use our debug tool to check your Open Graph tags
5. Use Insights to track what people want to share
7. Use our built-in translation support to show plugins in different languages
Avoiding spending time and money on Facebook is impossible. Use the insights and research to know your customers and create content that directly appeals to them:
- Use co-tagging, if you tag a page, the post shows to fans of both pages.
- Use geo-fencing to trigger location based promotions text to customers within a small radius of your outlet. Geo-fencing is become really popular with retailers and franchised businesses.
- Offer rewards for checking in or liking a page
Investing in the above strategy will go a long way to ensuring your organic Facebook search results are ranked highly.
If you want added surety to your search strategy for Facebook, then add in some good old-fashioned SEM and buy your audience. But be aware of the following rumour that seems incredibly likely to take effect by the end of April, published by allfacebook.com.
It is rumoured that Facebook will be launching a mobile ad network and believed to be officially announce by end of April.
Essentially, there will be two ad-delivery methods.
By integrating code, Facebook advertisers will be able to run ads on Facebook Audience Network instead of their existing ad networks or other solutions they are using to serve ads, which will ease the process on both the advertiser side and for Facebook.
Custom ad units will be made available, tailored to the applications in which they will run. So the end result is that ads running within a navigation app could display promoted locations, such as restaurants or other businesses, as pins.
The advantage for Facebook lies in the treasure trove of personal data it has acquired on its users, which no other ad network can replicate.
The current Ad Manager Tool is similar to Google AdWords. Some tips to get the best out of Facebook ads on a small budget:
Optimise by monitoring CPC (cost per impression), you want people to click on your ads for the least amount of spend, so test different ads.
- Use CPM for your most successful ads, as the price falls the more clicks you get.
- Use the Power Editor to optimise the targeting and bidding process. You don’t in fact have to be a large advertiser as Facebook suggests, it works well for small businesses with a need for precision and getting the biggest bang for buck.
- Geo-target promoted posts to get more specific and localised in your approach to your audience.
The key take-out is that Facebook is focused on mobile channels and search. With the largest personal data pool in the world at its disposable, it is the biggest challenge facing Google’s dominance of the search market in Australia.
Working with Facebook, using SEO and SEM techniques with great content is your Facebook strategy for now, the final part of your strategy is to keep reading, at least monthly, the Facebook business news, blog and also http://allfacebook.com to keep up to date with the new releases of functionality.
Fi Bendall is the managing director of Bendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.