Every business wants to stand out from the crowd of their competitors on the internet. And many businesses are questioning the value of Facebook as a tool to do that. Is it really worth the effort?
Let’s face it. Facebook is a lot of work for business owners to set up and maintain. Changes seem to happen at the speed of…well,… Facebook, and it’s more than most of us can keep up with. And will the effort pay off? Why do we bother with a social media platform that for most of us is something we use to keep up with old high school friends?
Why Bother With Facebook for Your Business?
The answer? SEO. Search Engine Optimization. Every brand needs a Facebook Page for the SEO advantages it provides. Here are the top 4 SEO reasons and one non-SEO reason (almost) every brand needs a Facebook Page.
1. Google Search Engine Results: Every business wants its customers and potential customers to find them on the internet. Google rewards businesses who are creating fresh content on social media sites, directory listings, blog posts, etc., and lists each of those sites separately. Google also often rewards businesses who provide more relevant fresh content than their competitors by ranking them above similar businesses. To achieve this coveted placement in some local geographic areas is done simply by drowning out the competition with the sheer number of quality active listings you can create for your business. (Update for 2016: This is still true!)
2. Facebook Search Results: In 2013, Facebook improved their search engine with a set of new filters they’re (fetchingly) calling Facebook Graph Search. Unlike Google Search, using the search feature on Facebook allows you to isolate those results your friends like, which is the primary essence of social media. This means that your Facebook page Likes take on new value when friends of your fans are searching for something you offer. You can see how important it is to consider your Facebook and SEO and use your keywords wisely so you can be found easily in Facebook Graph Search. (Update in 2016: Even though this function has changed a bit since its introduction, using keywords in your Facebook posts can still help you get found. Which keywords? High volume keyword phrases work best.)
3. Increase Website Traffic and Leads: Your Facebook page offers you fresh new opportunities to direct traffic to your actual website. New fans find you through their friends’ interactions with you, which shows up in their news feed, or through Facebook Graph Search, or through any number of other ways, and they come to your Facebook page. If you have your page set up in an appealing way with a good Call To Action, not only will those friends of fans often Like your page, they will also often click through to your website. This is one way friends of fans can ultimately become customers. And as much as we complain about Facebook, this is a FREE lead generation service for every business owner who wants to take advantage of it. (Update in 2016: Be sure to regularly check your business page for new features. Introduced this year is a section that allows you to highlight individual services on your page. Great for SEO!)
4. Keywords for SEO: Google operates on keywords. Using the correct keywords for your business in the correct locations on all your sites, tells Google just how to index your business and when and where to show it in the search engine results. It’s really that simple. And that complex. Hopefully, by now, you have a search engine optimized website with your title tags, meta descriptions, headlines and the like set up correctly for Google. Your Facebook page provides another opportunity to tell Google who you are by the keywords you use. Consistency with your website is important. Your main SEO keywords and phrases should be used on all your social media accounts, all your directory listings, and in every business move you make on the internet. Consistency, precision placement, and leaving no account unclaimed will run SEO circles around your competition. At this point in time, many of your competitors either don’t understand or don’t value the kind of results that correct Facebook and SEO keyword usage can produce.
5. Nurturing Relationships: Finally, we’ve come to a non-SEO reason most businesses need a Facebook page. Facebook is about relationships. Networking is about relationships. Sales is about relationships. Customer service after the sale is about relationships. Just about every business decision is made on the basis of one-on-one trust relationships built up over time. Facebook offers every business an opportunity to do just that. You can think of your business Facebook page as an extension of your sales and customer service functions. Facebook for business is just another tool for what we do naturally in person or on the phone.
And did I mention that it’s FREE? All it takes is time. And perhaps a bribe to one of your Facebook and SEO savvy friends.
If you find this post valuable, please Share it with your friends. Or if you have questions or comments, let me know in the Comment section below. Oh, and you can find me on my search engine optimized Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FreshFocusGroup with a Call to Action to my website www.freshfocusgroup.com. Thanks for reading!
This post has been updated for 2016.