Facebook SEO. Wow!
Facebook has entered the world of search with a BANG (and a Bing)!
Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Let’s break it down today and make it possible for your community to achieve Facebook Graph Search success!
Over one billion people like and comment on Facebook pages and updates an average of 3.2 billion times daily!
Friends, photos, PLACES, and interests are the four main areas of focus within search criteria. Notice I said Places? Your community is a Place on Facebook (if it includes a valid address). While Google rewards quality (and consistency) within their search algorithm, Facebook will reward consistent fan engagement within Graph Search.
Include descriptions that incorporate more than your amenities! One idea would be to use keywords and phrases similar to those your communities use on their websites.
There are challenges to be faced for some communities. For instance, search results will rely on a combination of user activity and content shared by businesses; but what if there is little or no user activity? Additionally, many communities only focus on Foursquare and/or Yelp check-ins, thereby missing a valuable opportunity to generate fan activity, improve reach and visibility within social search results.
Tips for overcoming Social Graph Search challenges:
- Run sponsored ads to increase relevant page likes, update shares, comments and likes. We’ve taken a step back in time to when the number of page likes mattered. Keep in mind, if you purchase likes it won’t improve your chances at Graph Search visibility.
- Add photos of your community, tag them with your business name (@ABCApartments), describe the photo in useful search terms and add the location of your business (address) to each photo.
- Encourage (public) check-ins at your community by residents, prospects, vendors, and employees (the more the merrier). When employees and vendors check-in, invite them to share photos of your community and tag others as well.
- Request recommendations from your happiest of residents (but don’t offer to buy them or reward the reviewer in any way). One way to do this is in response to a compliment made by a resident. “Jimmy was fantastic! He fixed my heat in just a few minutes. Thank you so much!” – “Oh we’re so glad he could help! I’ll tell him you said so and you are more than welcome to write him a recommendation on our Facebook page.”
Content that is shared, liked, and commented on by larger numbers of people are more likely to appear within Facebook Graph Search results. So, what should communities share? Well, the game has changed! The content your community shares will define what displays within Graph Search results about your community.
Did you know that YouTube lost six billion monthly views during the last half of 2012? Expect this trend to continue with the launch of Graph Search and the algorithm that ignores links to other websites. If a community page shares links (exclusively) to videos off-Facebook, it puts the page at a disadvantage – compared to competitor communities who upload their videos directly to Facebook.
This isn’t a short-lived effort but rather an investment in a longterm, game-changing social search engine that combines natural language patterns with traditional boolean search queries to display a combination of results from friends and Bing. In the future, perhaps even third-party search criteria will be incorporated – think Pinterest, Spotify, Foursquare and Instagram. Tools for tracking performance are another opportunity for Facebook to establish search dominance.
Making Facebook Graph Search work for Apartment Communities may take a little work upfront, but the results may be well worth the time spent adjusting your Facebook strategy.