According to many of the top SEO companies that study social impact, the two things that matter most when using Facebook to gain authority within the search engines is:
1. The number of Facebook shares you have
2. The authority of your sharers
Which means if you want to rank well under your keywords and search terms, Facebook can help you do so… if you understand how to use Facebook. Its more than adding a few posts here and there. Facebook offers a wide array of tools that help you build your authority and get people interacting as well.
1. Implement the Facebook Like buttons
To make your blog posts more shareable, make sure you add the Facebook plugin to implement Like buttons both at the top and the bottom of each post. While the standard Facebook icon is acceptable, look into newer options as well. You can now incorporate other options into your Like options, including:
- Versions that show thumbnails of friends
- Widgets that allow people to add comments both to your blog and to Facebook
Make sure you put Like buttons both at the beginning and the end of your posts, and also include it next to highly visual content, such as videos and photographs. People are more likely to click the Like button if you give them a reason to do so.
2. Add a Facebook comments plugin
If you are a regular on any blog, you know one of the benefits of blogging is the ability to have comments at the end of each post. They allow interaction amongst your visitors and can really help you educate your readers just be carrying on normal conversations.
Blog comments are great to help you grow your blog, yet they do little for external growth. By incorporating a Facebook comments plugin into your blog, you can allow the interaction to flow between platforms.
3. Always respond to Facebook comments
When you respond to comments on your blog, it shows people you are interactive and care about building relationships. When you comment on Facebook comments, it takes that to a whole new level as your comments could possibly be seen by more eyes as it moves through the newsfeeds.
4. Be more engaging with your Facebook followers
Posting once per week isn’t going to give your followers a reason to interact with you. Instead, build up a plan to post at least several times per day, and change the way you post and what you post about. Questions work well. And quotes seem to get a variety of people chiming in on what you do. What what your statistics are and give your viewers what they want.
5. Use @Tags
You can use @Tags in your Facebook posts similar to how you use them in Twitter. It’s a great way of giving credit, acknowledgment, thanks, etc.
6. Give away a free gift
Set up a give away for a free gift for people that follow you regularly on your Facebook page. Run the contest regularly to keep people interested and coming back – monthly is usually a good draw. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or even related to your business – people love Starbucks or Amazon gift cards. Build mini-baskets of products and enjoy brightening someones day. (If they have to stop by your studio to pick up the prize, you don’t have to worry about not including a free portrait. Just the connection may lead to turning them into clients.)
You can create fun topics or ask your readers what they are interested in. Don’t make it about you; instead offer advice to your readers. It’s a great way to generate traffic, especially if you hold it on a regular basis. Choose a service like Vpype or Ustream.
8. Post directly to your Facebook page
Its easy to want to automate things you do to free up time in your life. Yet for some things, its simply better if you take the time to work at building relationships in the direct way. Yes, you can connect your RSS feed from your blog to automatically drop in your posts on your Facebook. And you can use services like TweetDeck instead of visiting the Facebook site. Yet if you don’t send the post out correctly, attach photographs and make sure your links are directly clickable, you will lose valuable traffic. Your goal is always to be visible in as many ways as possible.
Is Facebook marketing worth it? Definitely. But you have to be willing to work at it. Its like any other form of marketing; it takes time to build and time to work. Don’t try and do it the wrong way, or attempt to spam the system to see how much you can get in the shortest time possible. Spend the time learning how to do it the right way and making sure you are building a strong marketing tool for your future.