Small Business Marketing - Facebook
by Jo Shaer, on October 28, 2011
I was running some training with one of my clients on Small Business Marketing through Facebook and trying to explain how to reach his likers through his Facebook page.
The trouble is, Facebook Marketing is actually very difficult at the moment because the methods of interacting with people who have liked your business have been restricted.
through interactions on the wall - great if they come and look regularly but impossible if they dont,
by posting great content regularly - not much good if your likers don't regularly interact with you anyway because Edgerank will mean that they don't get to see your content,
by tagging likers in reviews of events that they attended - another big no-no because now you can only tag other pages,
by going and talking to them on Facebook - well not as your page you can't so impossible if you want to keep business page and profile profile separate as required by Facebook's terms and conditions.
Small Business Marketing on Facebook
For this client, it was as much about maintaining the current level of followers and increasing satisfaction and interaction rather than a focus on purely gaining more.
The client had a series of reports of events that he had run with the people on his 'like' list and so we uploaded that and attempted to tag those people but, sadly, these days, you can only tag other pages.
What we did discover was that the best way to do it was to upload pictures along with a link to the report. It is still possible to tag the people in the images on a Facebook page.
So far, this is the only way I can find to attempt to attract likers back to the page.
And now Facebook have decided to remove the Reviews and Discussions tabs too, stating that they're trying to make Facebook Pages better and the best way to communicate with your fans is via content on the wall. They even talk about how they have improved the Insights reporting - so now you can see even more clearly how much less traffic you're getting since they fiddled with the Edgerank algorithm.
It seems to me that Facebook is trying to squeeze small businesses out or pushing them towards more lucrative usage with Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories.
We can, however, tap into the Twitter market from Facebook by linking our Facebook Page to our Twitter Feed using Facebook's Twitter app.
Some people also like their Tweets to post on their Facebook wall, but this is not really something that I would recommend. They are two very different types of platform - Twitter being more for short soundbites and chatter.
Small Business Marketing - Facebook and SEO
The one thing that Facebook does have in its favour for small businesses is its powerful SEO ranking. On many occasions, when checking out the top ten sites listing for a particular keyword, we see a company's Facebook page.
With a domain authority of 100, it takes a lot of beating if the page has been set up properly from an SEO point of view. Of course, it's not going to rank higher than a website which has been well optimised for a specific keyword, both on page and off page with a large number of juice links going to it. But, in competition with websites which may be beautiful to look at but show Google no relevance to any keywords, a Facebook site can actually rank higher.
One client in particular springs to mind who, despite spending a small fortune on a gorgeous website design was being beaten hands down by both his Facebook page and his own Wordpress.com free blog. People were visiting both of those as a result of their ranking on Google but there were very few visitors or conversions on the website because it was not showing on the search engines for its primary keywords.
Facebook Pages should certainly not be disregarded when it comes to Small Business Marketing, if only for its SEO possibilities.